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As an aerospace technologist at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Rosa Obregon helps test engines to power rockets toward the stars. Now – thanks to Latina magazine – she’s in the company of stars.
Latina’s December 2005/January 2006 issue names Obregon one of the 10 Women of the Year for her contribution to NASA’s space shuttle mission in July, the first shuttle flight since the 2003 Columbia accident. The magazine’s other honorees include: a New Orleans doctor described as a heroine of Hurricane Katrina; the president of MTV; a Tony Award winner; and, as a group, the almost 2,500 Latina troops deployed in the Middle East. The magazine gives actress Eva Longoria of ABC’s show, “Desperate Housewives,” top honors as the Woman of the Year.
Obregon, a Corpus Christi, Texas native, like Longoria, says, “I’m extremely honored by the recognition, proud to represent NASA and my family, and flattered to be included in a group of Latina women who have worked so hard to succeed in their professions.”
Obregon’s lifelong fascination with space began during visits to her parents’ hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, where she would marvel at the star-filled sky. She eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduating in June 2004, Obregon joined the Stennis team.
At Stennis, she has been involved in a hybrid rocket motor test program and was one of five test conductors for the External Tank Foam Test Project. That test team simulated weather conditions for a shuttle launch to determine what kinds of ice and frost formed on the fuel tank’s foam insulation. The test results provided necessary information for Space Shuttle Discovery’s liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on July 26.
“Her story is very inspiring because she’s so young and has already accomplished so much,” said Damarys Ocana, Latina magazine’s associate editor. “We’re always looking for women who can be role models for our community. We like to feature women who, like Rosa, worked hard in school and show that it’s possible to stick to one’s dreams and accomplish great things.”
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