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No Limits!

Katya Echazarreta’s dream of space travel came true. Now, she wants to help others achieve their dreams.

A woman in a blue Blue Origin space suit poses outside of a space capsule.

Blue Origin

Katya Echazarreta poses for a photo before traveling to the edge of space.

On June 4, 2022, Katya Echazarreta’s dream came true when she flew into space. Now, she wants to make sure other Mexican people get a chance to go to space too. 

Echazarreta has always loved space. When she was a kid, she told her mom she’d go some day. Growing up, she held on to her dream. She became an electrical engineer and then worked at NASA for a while. When she heard that regular citizens could apply for a chance to go to space, she jumped at the chance. 

It was a tough competition. More than 7,000 people from 100 countries sent in applications. But Echazarreta was chosen. She would become the first Mexican-born woman ever to go to space.

The space trip was short but amazing. Along with five other crew members, Echazarreta flew to the edge of space and stayed there for about 10 minutes. It was an experience she’ll never forget.

“The thing that remains with me…is that view of our planet from the outside,” she told CBS News. “It took me about three days to be able to fall asleep [after the trip] because every time I closed my eyes, I would see the planet and the clouds swirling around. I didn’t want to stop thinking about it.”

Blue Origin

Katya Echazarreta poses with the rest of the crew during a 10-minute trip to the edge of space. They could see Earth outside their window!

Echazarreta is now working to get Mexico to develop its space program so that more people can follow her footsteps to the stars. She’s also working to encourage young people around the world to dream of space, like she did.

Echazarreta likes to say, “The sky is NOT the limit.” She’s already proven that this is true!

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Fun Fact

NASA, © michal-rojek—iStock/Getty Images; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union (now Russia) became the first person to go to space.

As of 2023, fewer than 700 people have ever gone to space. That’s a small number, considering that there are eight billion people in the world!

Celebrating Hispanic and Latino Heritage

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. Let’s celebrate just a few Hispanic and Latino Americans who have done amazing things.

Minoso at bat

The Stanley Weston Archive/Getty Images

Minnie Miñoso was the first Black major league baseball star from Latin America. Miñoso was born in Cuba in 1925. When he was young, baseball players who weren’t white were not allowed to play in the major leagues. Instead, they played in the Negro Leagues. This is where Miñoso played when he arrived in the U.S. in 1945. In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first Black major league player. The rules had changed. Miñoso joined the major leagues and went on to become a seven-time All-Star.

Alvarez poses outdoors in coat, hat, and sunglasses.

Jackson Leibach/University of Kansas, reproduced with permission by Robert DePalma

Along with his father, geologist Walter Alvarez developed an important theory. It stated that the dinosaurs may have become extinct because of an asteroid that hit Earth about 66 million years ago. Since the 1980s, when Alvarez advanced this theory, evidence to support it has grown.

Pam Muñoz Ryan (born 1951).

Portrait of smiling Ryan

Courtesy of Pam Muñoz Ryan

Pam Muñoz Ryan is an author of books for young readers. Her 1998 book, Riding Freedom, is about a girl who grows up in the 1800s and becomes a talented horseback rider and a successful farmer. Muñoz Ryan is also the author of Echo, a 2015 book about a magical harmonica that travels through time and helps connect three strangers. Echo won an important children’s book award called the Newbery Honor.

Mendez smiles as a medal is placed around her neck.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the 1940s, Sylvia Mendez was not allowed to attend an all-white school in California. Her family decided to fight back. In 1946, a court ruled that schools had to allow Hispanic American children to attend. This case would pave the way for the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court ruled to end racial segregation in public schools. Today, Sylvia Mendez is a civil rights activist who educates others about her legal case.

You can read more about Mendez!

Hispanic Heritage Month

Images of Hispanic and Latino figures and cultural traditions flash on and off the screen.

© Keith Dannemiller/Alamy, © Sundry Photography, Kobby Dagan//Shutterstock.com, © Carlos R, Julio/stock.adobe.com, © Jinlide/Dreamstime.com, Laurence Griffiths, Focus on Sport/Getty Images, Steve Petteway/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 in the U.S. You can read more about Hispanic and Latino Americans at Britannica School!

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Word of the Day

adventuresome

Part of speech:

adjective

Definition:

liking to do dangerous and exciting things : seeking adventure

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