María Fernanda DEL BARCO

Orbital Space Technologies • Chief Systems Engineer

María Fernanda’s background is in mechatronics engineering, she is co-founder and currently works as Chief Systems Engineer at Orbital Space Technologies, a space start-up seeking to provide access to microgravity to Latin America and the world. Their first project is under development and seeks to study the fungus that causes the Panama Disease, which threatens banana plantations worldwide, in a microgravity environment to develop a cure. This project won first place in the ICECubes category in the 6th Mission Idea Contest and a recognition by International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) as the project with the greatest potential for international cooperation. María Fernanda wants to make space more accessible by creating opportunities for people in developing countries and is passionate about advocating for women rights. Since 2018, she is an active member of TECSpace, the largest aerospace student group in Costa Rica which provides hands-on experience and learning opportunities for students in a country where aerospace engineering does not exist as a career. There, she worked in the development of different projects and created the Gender Equality Commission to execute solid actions against gender bias and increase the participation of women. She is also co-founder of the global network of Women in Aerospace Costa Rica, where she worked to increase participation, visibility and leadership of women in the emerging aerospace sector. María Fernanda was recently elected as the SGAC’s National Point of Contact for Costa Rica and is co-event manager for the 7th South American Space Generation Workshop.


The Global Conference on Space for Emerging Countries 2022

16-20 May 2022

Quito, Ecuador