From Child Migrant Worker to Astronaut

Space shuttle Discovery will carry the Leonardo supply module to the International Space Station during STS-128, along with a new crew member for the station. One member of the shuttle crew blasting into space tomorrow will be Jose Hernandez. The San Francisco Chronicle writes the story of the NASA astronaut, who as a child toiled alongside his parents as a farm worker.

Astronaut Jose Hernandez. (NASA)

Astronaut Jose Hernandez. (NASA)

“A lot of kids loved summer vacation,” Hernandez said in a recent interview. “We dreaded it because we knew what that meant. That meant we were going to be working seven days a week in the fields.”

Hernandez, 47, vividly recalls being dusty, sweaty and tired in the back seat of the family’s car after a hard day of labor. Before starting the engine, his father would look back at his children and tell them, “Remember this feeling because if you guys don’t do well in school, this is your future.”

Read more here.

This is the first spaceflight for Jose Hernandez. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2004 and completed his initial training in February 2006. He is slated to perform robotic operations to inspect Discovery after launch and assist with cargo transfer from shuttle to
station.

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