MEXICO CITY, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- A Mexican physics major will join a Latin American crew to take part in a simulated mission to Mars, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) announced Monday.
Yair Israel Pina will be part of the six-member team heading to the Mars Desert Research Station in the U.S. state of Utah.
The complex is operated by the Mars Society, a U.S. non-profit organization which runs a "full-scale analog facility" to support earth-based research to further space exploration.
The team, called LATAM 1, plans to study the effects on humans of living and working conditions on the Red Planet during a simulated mission from April 29 to May 17 this year.
"I'm happy because to walk among the stars, you must first learn to walk on Earth," Pina said.
"I was chosen based on the experiments I proposed, including protocols to measure radiation in Martian environments, which I developed here at UNAM," Pina explained.
"At the station we will be able to conduct experiments and tests with the whole team. That will help space agencies travel to another planet," he added.
In October 2016, Pina was chosen by U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be a student researcher.