ALEJANDRO DIAZ - COMMANDER
Mr. Alejandro Diaz has worked at The Boeing Company since 1998. During this time, Mr. Diaz has been able to participate in the day-to-day activities of how human space vehicles are designed, manufactured, integrated and launched. Mr. Diaz is presently a member of Boeing's Advanced Space Exploration Division in Huntington Beach, CA. In this capacity, Mr. Diaz is supporting NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Diaz supported NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and International Space Station (ISS) programs. His primary experience includes support to human space programs with an emphasis in Extravehicular Activity (EVA) – astronaut spacewalks. As a member of Boeing’s ISS EVA Subsystem, Mr. Diaz was part of the team responsible for ensuring external interface compatibility between the astronauts and ISS hardware. Mr. Diaz was able to SCUBA dive with astronaut crews in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) at NASA JSC in preparation for ISS Assembly Operations.
Mr. Diaz holds a Ph.D. in Astronautical Engineering from USC (2012), an M.S. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota (2009), an M.A. in Latin American Studies from UCLA (2004), an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from USC (2001), a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA (1998), and he is a graduate of the International Space University’s Space Studies Program (2002). During the current (2013) Astronaut Selection Process, Mr. Diaz has been selected by NASA as a Finalist Interviewee for the Astronaut Candidate Program. His career goals are to apply his professional and academic experience to advance human space exploration. Mr. Diaz is married to Jennifer and they have three children (Skye, Isabella and Sophia).
HUMBERTO DE LAS CASAS ZOLEZZI - EXECUTIVE OFFICER (XO)
Humberto De las Casas Zolezzi is a Peruvian student in the Department of Mechatronics Engineering at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
He chose to study this major because it integrates the fields of mechanics, electronics, and computer engineering, which are areas that he has always been interested in. He is also very intrigued with human space exploration research and plans to utilize his academic expertise to support the research that his crew will perform at MDRS. Mr. De las Casas has worked in various industries, including the brewing industry (Cervecería Nacional de Panamá, SAB MILLER), the automotive industry (NORMOTORS), and the fishing and boating industries (MARCO Peruana INC). He has participated in major competitions in the areas of mathematics, academic aptitude, music and business. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, soccer, cycling, and surfing; practicing Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu; and playing the guitar.
EIJI ONCHI - ENGINEER
Eiji Onchi is currently a Mechatronics Engineering student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Eiji has a passion for automation and robotics. He has represented Peru in several robotic competitions, including the World Robot Olympiad in 2010, in which he placed 6th in the world. He aspires to work on space related projects because he believes that space exploration is beneficial for humanity. He understands that effective space exploration operations will synergistically employ human-robot systems. As such, one of his career objectives is to develop robots that can effectively interact with humans in space. Eiji enjoys learning different languages to better understand and communicate with other people and their cultures. In his spare time, he enjoys working on various hands-on projects, he likes to draw, do papercraft, and practice Aikido and contemporary dance.
ANDREA LAZARTE - HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER (HSO)
Andrea Lazarte is an Environmental Engineering student at Agraria La Molina University in Lima, Peru. Andrea is interested in understanding human habitation on Mars; one of her objectives at MDRS is to understand habitat environmental issues, such as solid/liquid waste management, and water supply and treatment. Andrea’s career vision is to become an engineering leader in environmental science projects, capable of generating knowledge and directing her efforts in pursuit of human welfare. Andrea has participated in various social projects, visiting nursing homes, children and teenagers’ communities and hospitals, in order to understand with greater depth and closeness the national reality and poverty of her country. She was the recipient of a scholarship to study International Bio-Business at Tokyo University of Agriculture in Japan, staying there from 2008 until 2010. Andrea speaks and writes in intermediate Japanese, fluent English and basic Portuguese. Her major work has focused in environmental studies, melding areas such as spatial life, biology, chemistry and physics. After her MDRS rotation, she hopes to train future crews and share her knowledge with other students at her university. Andrea enjoys traveling, learning languages, exploring different cultures and sightseeing. Andrea hopes to eventually obtain a Master’s Degree and then start her PhD studies, if possible, in the United States or Europe.
MONICA LUCIA ABARCA - GREENHAB
Mónica Lucia Abarca is a Peruvian student in the Department of Mechatronics Engineering at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
She believes this major will provide her the ability to provide creative and ingenious engineering solutions, because it encompasses a synergy of mechanics, electronics, computer engineering and control. She is very interested in human space exploration research, because she believes space exploration will give humans an opportunity to expand our horizon. Mrs. Abarca studied one semester in Germany, where she met people from many different countries, and built networking contacts within the German automotive industry. She has been working for five months in the mining and construction industry; she works for Komatsu-Mitsui Maquinarias Perú, an official distributor of the Komatsu brand of heavy machinery in Perú. She currently works in the Product Support Group, which is in charge of providing solutions to machinery issues. In her spare time she enjoys playing soccer, basketball, tennis and swimming; she also plays the drums in her band.
SAUL TRUJILLO - ENGINEER
Saul Trujillo is a Mechatronics Engineering student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). Saul has participated in various robotic competitions, including The World Robotic Olympics (WRO) in 2009, in which he was a member of the team that represented Peru. Saul has also participated in different national and international conferences, such as the Congress of Electronic Engineering. Saul has served as Council Member to the Science and Engineering Faculty at PUCP, and has worked as an assistant trainee in the Peruvian Corporation of Commercial Airports and Aviation Inc. (CORPAC) in the area of meteorology, helping in the selection of new airport equipment. Recently, he taught basic topics in robotics to elementary and high school students. Saul is currently an exchange student at the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in Gunma University at Gunma, Japan, where he is working on research related to electric cars, focusing in the area speed control characteristics.