LatinaLista — The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court isn’t the only historic milestone happening in the Latino community this summer. Next month, for the first time ever, two Latino astronauts, Jose Hernandez and Danny Olivas, will be serving on the same shuttle mission.
Shuttle Mission STS-128 Logo
STS-128 will take Olivas and Hernandez up to the International Space Station on a mission to continue assembling the station.
Hernandez, Mexican-born and the son of a migrant farmer, didn’t learn English until he was 12-years-old.
“I was inspired to pursue a dream to one day work in space while listening to the radio news about space exploration while working in the fields of northern California,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez went on to college and got his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Electrical & Computer Engineering. He was accepted into the astronaut corp. in 2004.
Hernandez knows Latinos are underrepresented in science and math fields and would like to help more Latinos think about space exploration, engineering and science. So, he has created NASA’s first bilingual Twitter site where he tweets his daily experiences as he trains for his shuttle launch next month.
Though he’s super busy training for the mission — “During the mission, he will oversee the transfer of supplies and equipment between the shuttle and station, assist with robotics operations and serve as a flight engineer in the shuttle cockpit during launch and landing” — he is making the time to make what he does come alive for all those young people, and older, who think going into space is a dream that can’t be reached.
One read of his Twitter site shows that anything is possible.