Astronauta Marcos Ponte
Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil
Astronaut Marcos Pontes was born in Bauru, São Paulo, on March 11, 1963.
He is Lieutenant Colonel Aviator R1 of the Brazilian Air Force and aeronautical engineer, graduated from the Aeronautical Technological Institute (ITA). He holds a Master degree in Systems Engineering by the Naval Postgraduate School, of California, and is a pilot test of fighter jets with more than 2,000 flight hours on 25 aircraft types including F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon, F-18 Hornet and Mig-29 Fulcrum.
Member of the 1998 astronaut class of NASA, Marcos Pontes is the only Brazilian to go to space. He is also the first professional astronaut to officially represent a Southern Hemisphere country in space. Pontes held the Centenary Mission in 2006, the result of a partnership between the Brazilian Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency. He was responsible for the maintenance of spacecraft systems and the execution of scientific research projects selected by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, working 10 days at the International Space Station as a Mission Specialist.
Mr. Pontes has extensive experience as a project manager and program manager, working on relevant international projects in the aerospace industry at companies such as NASA, JAXA, ESA and Boeing. He has 30 years of experience in risk management and operational safety. With a strong military and academic background, Pontes holds a bachelor's degree in Public Administration and serves as UNIDO ambassador, working mainly in sustainable development programs.
Since January 1, 2019, Marcos Pontes is the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil.