Madrid (EFE).- “It is always too early to give up.” That is the message transmitted today by the researcher and reserve astronaut Sara García during a talk at the Madrid Book Fair before an audience that was mostly adolescents, in which she assured that science is “the most beautiful history of Humanity”. .
García has participated in the day of activities programmed by the EFE Agency at the Book Fair, in which she has talked about how she became a substitute astronaut for the European Space Agency (ESA) or her activity as a biotechnologist at the National Center for Oncology Research (CNIO).
The scientist has passed what is considered one of the toughest selection processes in the world, from which five titular astronauts came out –among them the Spanish Pablo Álvarez, who is already training and “right now is the happiest person on Earth ”-, and twelve substitutes.
Competitive with themselves but good team relationship
A class of 17 people who are “quite similar”, all adventurous, who love to learn about everything, live new experiences, “quite calm, we don’t get upset easily”, humble and who help each other.
Garcia was struck by the fact that all the people he met during the selection “were impressive, there was a resume that looked like something out of a James Bond movie” and they were all very competitive with themselves, but in the group there was a spirit of collaboration of “your successes are my successes”.
The students have wanted to know the hardest part of the process – “managing anxiety and expectations,” he says – and the recipe so that people do not become demotivated when pursuing a difficult goal.
“As challenging as the challenge may seem, give it a try, because it is always too early to give up. Faced with a very difficult objective, they should go step by step, because if you only focus on the final objective, you may be overwhelmed”.
As a reserve astronaut, García (León, 1989) will go to space if there are missions that suit his profile and that will be short. “My dream now is for one to come out and if it can be related to biomedical research, it would be a double dream come true.”
Sara García, the reference astronaut for many students
Now, she has become a reference for many students, which she considers a “responsibility” and a “pride” in equal parts, because she wants to live up to it, but without forgetting to be herself.
“I am as I am, with my virtues and with my defects. I am a human being and I think it is also good that they see that nobody is perfect, that things can be achieved and mistakes can be made and learn from them and move on and pick yourself up.
The biotechnologist has highlighted the importance of popularizing science and estimates that the distance between society and scientists is narrowing.
“People -he has assured- when you tell them a beautiful story they love it and science for me is the most beautiful story of Humanity in all its variants, if you tell it well it will reach everyone and they will see the importance.
García continues his work at the CNIO, in the team of the researcher Mariano Barbacid, with a line of research to develop new drugs against a type of lung cancer, which he combines with his new status as a substitute astronaut.
At the moment, her life “as an astronaut candidate who has a mission on the horizon” is “a new surprise every day” and although “it is being a bit overwhelming”, it is very interesting and she is “enjoying it a lot”.