The Central American Space Congress (CEC23), one of the most anticipated events in the space field in the region, was held from September 12 to 14 at the Rodrigo Headquarters Facio of the University of Costa Rica.
During three exciting days of talks, panels and coexistence spaces, experts and enthusiasts of the space industry discussed the space ecosystem, the development of space capabilities, space science and technology, in order to generate knowledge, collaborations between actors and potential businesses in the countries of the region.
“It was an unprecedented opportunity to create an inclusive platform for the formation of new alliances and collaborations and thus promote the aerospace field in our respective countries, generating opportunities for entrepreneurs, but also for our students,” said Leonora de Lemos, professor at the University of Costa Rica and representative of the CEC2023 organizing committee.
Among the exhibitors, Costa Rican engineer Sandra Cauffman, Andrés Mora and Carlos Fontanot from the US space agency NASA stand out; the lawyer with a specialty in aeronautics, AlinaNassar; oceanographer Melania Guerra; MizanulChowdhury of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gustavo Cabrera, coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency; Luis Zea, associate professor in the department of aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder; the engineer Leonora de Lemos; Carlos Duarte from the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Dana Scarlet, robotics teacher at the Ella She is Ella Foundation mission; RachitBahtia of LeoLabs; Katherine Herrera, expert space microbiologist; Franklin Chang Diaz and Elías Solórzano of the MDA.
“CEC2023 was a real opportunity for a 17-year-old student from Central America to talk directly with representatives of the highest level of the American Space Agency NASA about her ideas and aspirations and vice versa,” celebrated engineer Andrés Mora, manager of the idea that gave rise to the congress.
“Historically, the region has not been a leader in previous industrial revolutions, but that does not mean it should be that way forever. New commercial platforms in space will allow companies from all over the world to be key participants in this new industrial revolution,” concluded Guatemalan Luis Zea.
For more than 40 years, the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives (CINDE) has worked to attract foreign direct investment to the country. Throughout its history, CINDE has provided support to more than 400 multinational companies established in Costa Rica in various industries, including manufacturing, services, life sciences and tourism infrastructure. As a private, apolitical organization declared to be of national interest, the agency has been classified since 2017 – and now, for five consecutive years – by the International Trade Center (ITC) as the best investment attraction agency of the world.