Katya “Kat” Echazarreta's stardom is on the rise. She’s the first Mexican-born woman ever to fly into space.

Kat is also using her platform to inspire the next generation of scientists.

What You Need To Know

  • Kat is the first Mexican-born woman to fly into space

  • She’s a global multimedia STEM educator

  • Barbie created a doll for her in March 2023 in honor of International Women’s Day

  • The astronaut is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University

The electric engineer was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1995. She and her family moved to the United States when she was 8 years old.

Astronomy, space and math have been her passion since childhood. She went to San Diego City College and then transferred to UCLA to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

The first-generation college graduate is now a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University where she’s pursuing her master’s degree in engineering. 

Last year, Kat made history, becoming the first Mexican-born woman in space after being selected to fly aboard a Blue Origin capsule on June 4, 2022. She was chosen out of 7,000 applicants for the Space For Humanity’s First Citizen Astronaut Ambassador Program.

Astronaut Katya Echazarreta prior to crew capsule ingress. Katya became the first Mexican-born person to fly to space. (Blue Origin/June 4, 2022)

Kat’s mission onboard the Blue Origin’s NS-21 flight was to experience the cognitive shift of the “overview effect.” The overview effect is a state astronauts experience when viewing the Earth from space and how that experience could change their perspective on things.

Not only is Kat an astronaut and engineer, she’s also a science communicator who commands a following on multiple platforms from TikTok to YouTube to Instagram. The science show host is using her passion and personality to educate people about STEM.

She has her own segment called “Electric Kat” on CBS’ YouTube series “Mission Unstoppable” seasons 3 and 4. Plus, she hosted segments on Netflix’s YouTube series “Behind the Streams” which talks about the science of special effects.

Kat has a long list of accomplishments, from working on five NASA missions to being on the digital cover of Vogue Mexico last October. Plus, she holds an honorary doctorate for her humanitarian contributions to society.

Barbie also debuted a doll of her for International Women’s Day in March 2023.

Kat poses with her Barbie doll. (Mattel)

The doll is part of its Barbie Dream Gap Project, “a multi-year global initiative created to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.”

Kat is taking her career to infinity and beyond. She wants her platform to have a positive impact and “bridge some of the existing gaps for students and young professionals.”

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