“I’ve always dreamed of being able to see Earth from space”
Deciphering the mysteries the universe hides while observing the infinity of the sky surrounded by horoscope books and its inseparable telescope, Beatrice Varona still remembers when she went out and camped to contemplate the magic of Perseids on August nights. Now this 33-year-old, from a small town in Merindades like Santa Gadea de Alfoz, is one of 22,000 people who have submitted their candidacy for the European Space Agency’s tests.
Varuna encourages the young Miranda to let the secrets of the universe deceive them and opens the door for cooperation with city institutes to carry out activities. In the meantime, all those interested can follow her closely through social media at @trizbangtheory on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and also on her YouTube channel TheTrizBang Theory. An undergraduate student in Physics at the Complutense University of Madrid, he completed his training with a Master’s degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the International University of Valencia.
You have a pure profession. The stars have surrounded you since you were a kid on a journey that is still wonderful for you.
– The truth is yes, I always try to convey how exciting and exciting this world is for me. I still remember the first telescope they gave me, you couldn’t see anything but for me it was the best in the world. I was always clear about what I wanted to study and what I wanted to work on and it was a dream that became possible. If I look back in time, I remember what distinguished me as Jodie Foster’s character in Robert Zemeckis’ Contact. Women have always practiced science even though it has been silenced or hidden from us.
Speaking of women, who are your references?
There’s a lot, but Jocelyn Bell is definitely someone I’ve always called. This woman discovered pulsars and the Nobel Prize was given to her thesis advisor and not to her. Science continues and his work is tireless and inexhaustible. She has received many other awards for her great work. I would also like to mention to me the Italian Samantha Cristoforetti, she is a benchmark and currently the only female astronaut in the European Space Agency.
Why did you decide to submit your candidacy as an astronaut? Fomas is part of 22,000 candidates but only 25% of them are women.
– We will be about 8000 women, and we still have a lot to do, but I see this number in a positive way as I think in previous calls the percentage was not even 15%. The call came out at the beginning of the year and everyone was telling me about it on social networks where women were especially encouraged. On this call I think the issue of equality of outcome will be very present. It has always been a dream for me to be able to see Earth from space, although I didn’t consider it possible until this year because the European Space Agency hadn’t issued a selection call since 2008. I’ve looked at the requirements they asked to be NASA astronauts, But of course US citizenship was mandatory for application. In this call, the age has also increased, before the limit was between 27 and 37 years and now the limit has increased to 50 years. From now on, you have to overcome a total of six different stages and each of them is a final stage in turn. We have to go through personality tests, psychological, psychotechnical, language tests, group assessment, and of course the individual too. The whole process takes a year and a half. The resolution of this call will be announced at the end of 2022.
– You are very active in social networks. What is your purpose?
Above all, I convey my passion and encourage young people not to give up if their dream is to help reveal the secrets of the universe. I have a channel on YouTube as well as on social networks @trizbangtheory. What I upload is information mainly related to science and astronomy.
– You currently work at the Astronomical Observatory in Cantabria. How accurate is the development of the media part?
We do a research part and a publishing part. In the latter we do private guided tours on the weekends and offer talks and special events with specific activities. During this summer as a member of the Astrological Association of Burgos we also do outreach activities. I also encourage young people from Miranda to participate in our literary competition. Interested parties aged 15-25 can participate and call until August 30. The rules are on the astroburgos.org website.