First Mexican astronaut and launch of the Morelos II, national watershed: Arganis Díaz-Leal

The Secretary of Communications and Transportation led the commemoration of the mission of the first Mexican astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela and the launching of the Morelos II satellite. • November 26, 1985 was a historic moment because Mexico entered the select group of countries with activity space and have a satellite system, he said

The mission of the first Mexican astronaut, Rodolfo Neri Vela, and the launching of the Morelos II satellite   35 years ago, was a watershed that allowed Mexico notable advances in connectivity, broadband, telecommunications and other high value-added services. said the Secretary of Communications and Transportation, Jorge Arganis Díaz-Leal.

When commemorating these events, he stated that November 26, 1985 was recorded as a historic moment for the nation, since Mexico entered the select group of countries with space activity by having a satellite system, he emphasized.

In the commemorative virtual event, Arganis Díaz-Leal was accompanied by the astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela, as well as the Undersecretary of Transportation, Carlos Morán Moguel; the general director of the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Salvador Landeros Ayala, and the general director of Telecommunications of Mexico (Telecomm), María del Rocío Mejía Flores.

He assured that both events meant the development of skills of our technical staff, which in a very short time ensured autonomy in the control and operation of the satellite system.

With this, he added, the extraordinary capacity of Mexican engineering was confirmed, so there is no doubt of the benefits that satellites and space projects have in modern life.

The most significant importance is its direct link with the improvement of the quality of life of the population; Our engineers and specialists have to daily endorse their commitment to the society of which they are part, with the conviction that science cannot be separated from social causes, he said.

He established that Rodolfo Neri Vela not only had the vision of the future in the field of knowledge, he also knew how to understand that the transformation of Mexico was possible and necessary. Everything that he visualized since the 80s is now a reality.

He stated that today space development and satellite technology are part of daily life; They are also instruments of social justice and must generate opportunities for all.

For his part, the astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela recalled the space mission STS-61-B of which he was a part on November 26, 1985, aboard the Atlantis shuttle, as well as the placement of the Morelos II satellite  .


“It was a privilege to be selected to represent our country on this space mission. In reality, we were the millions of Mexicans, women and men, united and united in this historical event ”, highlighted the first Mexican to travel to space.

“With me, aboard the Atlantis ship, went the prideful emotion and dreams of all my compatriots; our national coat of arms, our music, our gastronomy, our scientific knowledge, in short, our culture that has made us so proud from pre-Hispanic times to date was on board ”, he added.

“It has been 35 years since I took off with my fellow American crew members to spend seven days in orbit around the earth. After landing and returning to Mexico, I have dedicated my life to teaching and research at UNAM, to writing university textbooks and popular science books; to give lectures in all corners of the country; to represent Mexico in international events and to motivate new generations to love their homeland, to improve academically and personally, to thank life for the opportunities it gives us to get to know our environment, enjoy countless wonders and take care of our home: the earth ”, finished off.

The Undersecretary of Transportation, Carlos Morán Moguel, affirmed that the launch of the Morelos II satellite   and the going into space of the astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela was a historic moment that boosted the engineering of Mexico and the impact that the Mexican astronaut has had on subsequent generations As young people, it shows what can be done when you want to transcend.   

In turn, the general director of the AEM, Salvador Landeros Ayala, pointed out that Neri Vela orbited the earth 109 times in the space shuttle Atlantis and during the mission the Mexican satellite Morelos II was placed in orbit  .


The launch of the  Morelos I  and  Morelos II  were the first generation of telecommunications satellites in Mexico and were launched on June 17 and November 26, 1985 by means of NASA’s Discovery and Atlantis shuttles, respectively. Thus, the  Morelos  and Neri Vela systems are an example that with good practices it is possible to achieve large projects, he stressed. 

The general director of Telecomm, María del Rocío Mejía Flores, highlighted that the Neri Vela space mission and the launch of the Morelos I and II  satellites  promoted a new generation of engineers that allowed the advancement of satellite technology with the design of a new generation ,  Solidaridad I  and  Solidaridad II , so Telecomm is at the forefront of technological and satellite advancement that allows inclusion in telecommunications.

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