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Posts Tagged ‘latino-american astronaut’

These days, everybody and their dog is getting into the space race. Something is afoot. Great Britain, Mexico, China and India are all funneling large sums of capital, into their respective emerging space agencies.

With regard to one of NASA’s newest Astronauts José Moreno Hernández; oddly enough, the greatest criticism has come from the ranks of the ethnic Hispanics–lo Mexicanos de Mexico–if you will, instead of the ‘Norte Americanos or Chicanos.’

…an American engineer of Mexican descent and a NASA astronaut. He is currently assigned to the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-128.

Mission Specialist Hernandez, earned his astronaut wings, in August of 2009.  STS-128 (ISS assembly flight 17A) mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Mr Hernandez is the US-born son of Mexican migrant farm workers. …Hernandez wanted to fly in space ever since he heard that the first Hispanic-American had been chosen to travel into space.

The first Mexican in space was Rodolfo Neri Vela. There seems to be some rivalry between the two astronauts–not on a personal level–so for as I know, but between the Mexicans and North American Hispanics. The Mexicans don’t really claim Hernandez as one of their own, favoring Neri Vela, instead. A Mexican National, Neri Vela, flew on the US Space Shuttle (STS-61-B) in 1985, and served as Hernandez’s inspiration to become an astronaut.

Incidentally, STS-128 also marked the first time two Hispanic Americans flew on the same Space Shuttle crew. John “Danny” Olivas of El Paso, Texas, made his second trip up into space, on STS-128, along with Hernández.

Always read the comments, please.

One commenter referred to him as: “…the second latino-american astronaut.” Another commenter, again referring to Hernandez as: ” no un chicano que habla espanol con acento gringo.” Translation. …not [really] a Chicano, but [a] Spanish speaker with a North American accent.

Either way, I think you’ll agree with Dr. F., when I say; the story of NASA engineer / astronaut José Moreno Hernández, is quiet an inspiration, regardless of which side of the river you grew up on.

see also:  Mexico Enters The Space RaceJose M. Hernandez – NASA’s Mexican Astronaut, John D. Olivas, Rodolfo Neri Vela

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