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Publicado em: 10 Dezembro 2018

The first female scientist-astronaut in Portugal is from ISEP

Ana Pires, a student at the Engineering School of P.PORTO and researcher at INESC TEC, is the first Portuguese woman to receive a NASA scientist-astronaut diploma

Ana Pires, a student of the Master's Degree in Engineering and Electronics and Computers - Autonomous Systems Branch of ISEP, was one of 12 selected from hundreds of applications, from all over the world and from different areas.

Participation in the course, which was supported by ISEP and the Institute of Systems and Computers, Technology and Science Engineering (INESC TEC), where Ana is a researcher, took place within the scope of the PoSSUM - Suborbital Polar Science High Mesosphere.

This achievement arose after the successful completion of the course that took place at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida (USA). From the outset, the goal was clear: prepare candidates for suborbital spaceflight as scientists and train astronaut scientists or, according to official NASA categories, the so-called Mission Specialist or Payload Specialist. The training lasted a month and a half, and included both theoretical and practical training in aeronautics and aerospace, where a simulation of a mission, with space suit, aerobatic aircraft training of habituation to the G and exercises in the hyperbaric chamber to observe the effects of hypoxia.

"This is the first step to continue specialized training in the Space Industry. There are numerous courses under this program and I am very interested in continuing to work and continue to pursue this dream. The courses of operations with spacesuits, microgravity assessment, atmospheric and geological sciences and remote sensing techniques applied to the mesosphere, are my next objective. In personal terms, there are methodologies and techniques related to remote sensing and image acquisition, which were addressed in this course and which can be perfectly applied in the ISEP and INESC TEC investigations in the areas of sea geo-technologies, modeling and cartography applied, "says Ana Pires.

Ana Pires graduated in Geotechnical Engineering and Geoenvironment from ISEP, and has a PhD in Geosciences from the University of Aveiro (Specialty in Geological Resources and Geo-Materials). Currently, she has a scholarship to research in Science and Technology at ISEP and researcher at CRAS, from INESC TEC.

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