Lo que voy a ser cuando crezca!

Mexico al espacio / Jose Hernandez / Ingles

Mexican-American astronaut: from farm fields to outer space
by Alsy Acevedo on Aug 24, 2009

José Hernández is ready for the trip of a lifetime. In a couple of hours he will be part of a crew of seven astronauts onboard shuttle Discovery, which is expected to launch at 1:36 a.m.
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“Only a few more hours and we’ll be set to blast off into space! What a great feeling!” Hernández wrote on his Twitter feed.
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The astronaut born in California is the youngest of a family of migrant workers who split their time between Mexico and the state.
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It will be Hernández, 47, first trip to space. And because of changes occurring in NASA, he understands it might be his only chance.

It doesn’t matter.
For him the voyage began many years ago in the most unlikely of places: a picking farm in California, were he worked along family members when he was out of school. Hernández owned a radio and when he heard about Franklin Chang-Diaz being the first Latino chosen for the astronaut program, he decided he would become an astronaut too.
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Education was the engine of his journey to become an astronaut. “Natural resources will run out, we should start investing on intellectual resources,” Hernández says every time he speaks to groups.
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The mechanical engineer worked for the private sector before taking a job – for less pay – at NASA.
He applied to become an astronaut for 12 consecutive years; went to three interviews. “Third was a charm,” he jokes.
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In a recent conversation with Mexican president Felipe Calderón both agreed on the line that says: no hay que llegar primero sino hay que saber llegar, which roughly means is not as important to be first as it is to be wise.
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Since being picked for Shuttle Discovery’s mission he has been updating his Twitter feed regularly in English and Spanish. He will continue to do so while working as a mission specialist, during a trip that will also be remembered as the first time two Hispanic astronauts – Hernández and John “Danny” Olivas – fly together.
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You can follow José Henández at www.twitter.com/Astro_Jose. I’ll be at Kennedy Space Center’s press site tonight reporting on his voyage. For real time updates follow me at http://www.twitter.com/AlsyAcevedo

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