The Boy Who Reached for the Stars: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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The engineer known as the “space mechanic” administers to both our future and past in this breathless memoir of his journey from Ecuador to NASA and beyond.

Elio Morillo’s life is abruptly spun out of orbit when economic collapse and personal circumstances compels his mother to flee Ecuador for the United States in search of a better future for her son. His itinerant childhood sets into motion a migration that will ultimately carry Elio to the farthest expanse of human endeavor: space.

Overcoming a history of systemic adversity and inequality in public education, Elio forged ahead on a journey as indebted to his galactic dreams as to a loving mother whose sacrifices safeguarded the ground beneath his feet. Today, Elio is helping man NASA’s mission to explore Mars and promoting the future of human innovation—from AI and robotics to space infrastructure and equitable access.

The Boy Who Reached the Stars is both a cosmic and intimate memoir spun from a constellation of memories, reflections, and intrepid curiosity, as thoroughly luminous as the stars above.

About the Author

Elio Morillo, the “space mechanic” is a Mars 2020 operations engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Born in Ecuador and raised in Puerto Rico and New York, Elio's experiences have left him passionate about DEI, bringing years of volunteering and organization experience to JPL’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group and more recently to its New Researchers and Scientists Group, where he is the current networking chair. He is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and currently resides in California.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063214316
ISBN-10: 0063214318
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: June 6th, 2023
Pages: 368
Language: English