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Mariona Badenas, the Barcelona native on the Mars Society international mission

Researcher in astrophysics, Mariona Badenas dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Mariona Badenas has had a passion for astronomy ever since she was a child. This young scientist managed to make a name for herself on the international science scene at the very beginning of her career, thanks to the help of the Youth and Science program promoted by the Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera and to the backing of the astrophysicist Ignasi Ribas, who heads up the Institute of Space Sciences.

At the age of 17 she took part in a summer program at the Institute for Scientific Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the top 50 most talented young scientists from around the world. There, she worked together with Sara Seager, known for her work on exoplanets. Years later, she was fortunate enough to work with her again when studying for her doctorate in planetary sciences.

Mariona Badenas has a degree in Astrophysics from Yale University and is currently pursuing a PhD in planetary sciences at MIT. In addition, at the age of 25 she was the first Catalan scientist to become a commander on an international mission run by the Mars Society. Mariona has also had the opportunity to witness the launch of the Russian space rocket Soyuz MS-03 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Mariona Badenas was only 17 years old when she was selected to take part in a program for young people at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Barcelona has succeeded in making a name for itself in astrophysics. The city has a number of institutions specializing in the field, one of which is the Institute of Space Sciences, part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), which is dedicated to research in space physics, astrophysics and cosmology.

The CSIC is the largest public research institution in Spain and the third largest institution in Europe dedicated to conducting and promoting scientific research. The most important projects of the Institute of Space Sciences include over a dozen missions and ground experiments, the detection of gravitational waves, leadership of the Simulation Organization Unit and the Photometric Red Change Organization Unit. In addition, it is the only Spanish institution that is a member of the group directing Fermi-Gamma Ray Observatory instigated by NASA.

Barcelona cuenta con relevantes instituciones dedicadas al estudio del espacio como el IEEC o el Institut de Ciències de l'Espai (CSIC)

Barcelona also boasts the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), a research institute that covers all areas of space and space sciences, including astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, earth observation and space engineering. Its mission is to employ science and technology to extend the frontiers of space research for the benefit of society.

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