Daughters of NASA engineer Arturo Campos head to Artemis launch

Published: Aug. 28, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) -Arturo Campos was a key player in bringing Apollo 13 home, but on Monday, he will be known for another mission.

Commander Moonikin Campos, named after the Laredo native will be on board Artemis I.

For his daughters, Lety, Deanna and Yvette they couldn’t be prouder of their father, a man of humble beginnings whose life work was out of this world.

“To me that’s not a mannequin up there, to me it’s like it’s my dad” Leticia Campos Maddix said.

Born in Laredo, a graduate of Martin High School, he then attended the University of Texas and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.

He worked at the Kelly Air Force Base before joining NASA serving in key roles including research, developmental of electrical systems used for Apollo lunar modules.

Another major role was helping bring the astronauts of Apollo 13 home.

He developed a plan to provide the command module with enough electrical power to bring the team home.

Campos and other members of mission control were awarded the Presidential Metal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon.

In 2001, Campos passed away and remembered by those he helped save.

“The astronauts, two of them attended dad’s funeral. One of them had made the comment to our uncle that he wouldn’t have been here today. If it would not have been for my dad’s part in Apollo 13. To hear from one of the peoples’ whose lives he saved, say that it’s huge” Brewer said.

In June 2021, the public chose to name the manikin launching on Artemis I after Campos.

“Dad had won the contest by over 300,000 votes, that’s huge” Yvette Campos Brewer said.

A worldwide competition that hit close to home.

“It’s bittersweet that mom and dad aren’t around to see it. Right now, my mother would be beside herself. With all of this activity. She was dad’s biggest fan” Brewer said.

One of the few Hispanics to work in the space program he encouraged other Hispanics to purse their dreams.

“He would want other Hispanics to really push and reach the goal that he did. In such a successful way” Deanna Campos Ranck said.

Decades later, Campos will once again NASA.

“It just seems like he’s gone full circle and helping Apllo 13 and 50 years later he is going to help them again. At least in his name anyways” Brewer said.

NASA created a web comic dedicated to Campos, the family says a documentary is in the works.

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