Monday, August 17, 2009

NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez: From Life in the Fields to Outer Space

Later this month, when Jose Hernandez joins the ranks of the dozen or so Hispanic astronauts -- and the handful of Mexican-Hispanics -- who have ventured into space, the gravity-defying thrust of the rockets will serve as a symbol of his life's journey.

Hernandez's quest to visit space began with his feet planted firmly in the earth, hoeing sugar beats in the fields as a child. Back then, Hernandez -- who didn't learn English until age 12 -- traveled with his migrant-farm family from Mexico to Southern California and back.

On Aug. 25, the 47-year-old engineer's dream is scheduled to culminate with the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery.

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