The Boy Who Reached for the Stars

de Elio Morillo

citită de Timothy Andrés Pabon

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"Heartwarming... infectious ...[Morillo'sThe Boy Who Reached for the Stars]is every bit the inspiration he means it to be." –Kirkus Reviews

The engineer known as the “space mechanic” speaks 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 compel 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 drive human expansion into the solar system and promote 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.

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Elio Morillo

Elio Morillo

Elio Morillo is a space systems engineer at Blue Origin working on lunar programs. Previously he worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Mars 2020 mission, where he was a system testbed and operations engineer for the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter. Born in Ecuador and raised in Puerto Rico and New York, Elio graduated from the University of Michigan with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in electrical engineering as well as a master’s in systems engineering and design. In his free time, he enjoys giving talks on space, volunteering, and mentoring. Elio is passionate about exploration, expansion, and equitable access to space.


Timothy Andrés Pabon

Timothy Andrés Pabon

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