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Jose Hernandez, Retired NASA Mission Specialist Astronaut, will Speak to Students Nov. 17

Jose M. Hernandez, the son of California migrant workers who became a NASA engineer and mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery, will speak to Diamond Hill Jarvis High School and Meacham Middle School students.

Hernandez, 54, is a retired astronaut and engineer. He was assigned to the crew of Space Shuttle Mission STS-128 on the shuttle Discovery. The crew’s 14-day mission was to complete the construction of the International Space Station in 2009. While he was in orbit, Hernández became the first person to use the Spanish language in space while tweeting.

Born to immigrant parents who encouraged him to pursue his studies, Hernandez earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. While in college, he participated in the Math, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program that provides support to students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. He went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering. An accomplished engineer before becoming an astronaut, Hernandez and a colleague developed the first full-field digital mammography imaging system to help in early detection of breast cancer. He was selected by NASA in 2004. He spent time as an aquanaut in 2007 and was selected as a mission specialist in 2008.

He retired from NASA in 2011. Today, he runs the Jose M. Hernandez Reaching for the Stars Foundation, which educates students and communities about the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.



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