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Neri Vela, Rodolfo
Neri Vela
Neri Vela
Credit: www.spacefacts.de
Mexican engineer payload specialist astronaut 1985. First Mexican astronaut.

Status: Inactive; Active 1985-1985. Born: 1952-02-19. Spaceflights: 1 . Total time in space: 6.88 days. Birth Place: Chilpancingo.

Educated UNAM; Essex; Birmingham.

Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Rodolfo Neri Vela (Ph.D.)
Payload Specialist

PERSONAL DATA: Born February 19, 1952, in Chilpaningo, Gro. (Mexico). Single. Enjoys jogging, cycling, swimming, reading, cinema, theatre, and music.

EDUCATION: Received a bachelor's degree in mechanical and electronic engineering, University of Mexico, 1975; studied the master's program in science, specialized in telecommunications systems, 1975-1976, University of Essex, England; received a doctoral degree in electromagnetic radiation, University of Birmingham, England, 1979; and 1 year of postdoctoral research in waveguides, University of Birmingham, England.

EXPERIENCE: The Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, USA; The Institution of Electrical Engineers, England; Asociacion - Mexicana de Ingenieros en Comunicaciones Electricas y Electronicas, Mexico; and Colegio de Ingenieros Mecanicos y Electricistas, Mexico.

Dr. Neri Vela has worked at the Institute of Electrical Research, Mexico, in the Radiocommunications Group, doing research and system planning on antennas and satellite communications systems; he had also been Head of the Department of Planning and Engineering of the Morelos Satellite Program at the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation, and is now a full time post-graduate lecturer and researcher at the National University of Mexico on antenna theory and design, satellite communications systems, and Earth station technology.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Dr. Neri Vela flew on the crew of STS-61B Atlantis (November 26 to December 3, 1985). STS-61B launched at night from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. During the mission the crew deployed the MORELOS-B, AUSSATT II, and SATCOM K-2 communications satellites, conducted 2 six-hour spacewalks to demonstrate Space Station construction techniques with the EASE/ACCESS experiments, operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis (CRFES) experiment for McDonell Douglas and a Getaway Special (GAS) container for Telesat, Canada, conducted several Mexican Payload Specialists Experiments for the Mexican Government, and tested the Orbiter Experiments Digital Autopilot (OEX DAP). At mission conclusion, Dr. Neri Vela had traveled 2.4 million miles in 108 Earth orbits, and logged over 165 hours in space.


This is the only version available from NASA. Updates must be sought direct from the above named individual.

Official Biography

NAME: Rodolfo Neri Vela

EDUCATION: Diploma in electronic/mechanical engineering, with specialisation in communications technology, from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. Doctorates in Telecommunications and Electromagnetic Radiation from the Universities of Essex and Birmingham.

EXPERIENCE: Neri worked in Mexico as an engineer, director of projects, adviser and Professor of Radio Communications in the Institute of Electrical Investigations, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, the Secretariat of the National Defence, the UNAM, and several museums of science and technology.

Neri Vela went into space as Mexico's first astronaut on NASA / European Space Agency mission STS-61-B. He spent seven days in outer space aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, carrying out multiple experiments and placing in orbit the Mexican satellite Morelos 2.

From 1989 to 1990 Neri worked on the International Space Station for the European Space Agency in Holland.

Later Neri Vela was Professor in the Faculty of Engineering of the UNAM. He was also a lecturer and instructor of intensive courses on satellites and astronautics in various institutions of higher education in different parts of the world and participated in many national and international congresses.

Neri Vela has published a many articles and ten books, the most recent of which were Satélites de Comunicaciones (Communications Satellites), Estaciones Espaciales Habitadas (Inhabited Space Stations), El Universo del Hombre y su Sistema Solar (Man's Universe and Solar System), and Vuelta al Mundo en Noventa Minutos (Around the World in Ninety Minutes).

More at: Neri Vela.

Family: Astronaut. Country: Mexico. Flights: STS-61-B. Projects: STS. Bibliography: 5826.

1952 February 19 - .
1985 November 27 - . 00:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
1985 December 3 - .

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