José Manuel Vega Hernández - Mechatronics

Studying Mechatronics Engineering
Universidad Panamericana, Mexico, class of 2023

“I believe technology is here to help us solve any problem. I want to develop apps that make a positive change here on Earth and beyond.”

Ever since he saw the reverse landing of a SpaceX shuttle as a teenager, José Manuel has been fascinated by rockets and space. This propelled him to join Misión Colibrí, a space programme at the Universidad Panamericana, which aims to launch a nano-satellite into orbit to collect data and take on the space debris problem.

Getting a satellite off the ground requires funding, so José Manuel is developing a native iOS app, also called Misión Colibrí, to attract sponsors and drive public interest.

“We want to encourage Mexicans to create more space technology, and inspire kids to study these topics and pursue these careers,” he says.

Using Xcode and Swift with ARKit on Mac, José Manuel is building an iOS experience that allows users to get a detailed and holistic view of the nano-satellite on iPhone and iPad. Plus, with augmented reality and real-time telemetry, the satellite can be “blown apart” to reveal its inner workings, along with the data it has collected.

“Swift and Xcode help you create something incredible in minutes. They are very powerful and intuitive,” José Manuel says. He began coding in secondary school but didn’t discover the Develop in Swift curriculum and get certified until he landed in an iOS Development Lab at university.

José Manuel’s passion for Mexican aerospace exploration doesn’t stop there. He’s committed to designing apps that help communities and inspiring young people to do the same.

“I want to leave a mark, help people and make the world — and beyond — a better place.”


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