EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso native and rocket scientist Yvonne Villegas-Aguilera played a significant role in Wednesday’s morning launch of Artemis 1.

On Wednesday Nov. 16, Branch Chief of Nasa Villegas-Aguilera, supervised the engineers who designed the solid rocket boosters of Artemis 1 as well as the engineers who designed the Pyro devices that ignited the boosters. Villegas-Aguilera majored in Chemistry at Our Lady of the Lake University and was the first in her family to graduate from college before starting her career with NASA. She is now currently working as a Branch Chief for the Solid Propulsion and Pyro Devices Branch. The Artemis 1 uncrewed spacecraft is the first step in returning astronauts to the moon. If successful, another mission will carry the first woman and first person of color to the lunar surface in 2025.