NASA Astronaut will visit Adams State

(10-09-2013)

jose hernandez

The son of farm worker immigrants, NASA Astronaut José Hernández accomplishments include being assigned to the STS-128 Space Shuttle Discovery mission as the flight engineer. His presentation, "An Astronaut's Journey to the Stars" begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in Adams State University Carson Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public. He will be available to sign copies of his book, "Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut," after his presentation.

Hernández will also speak at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in the Adams State Theatre Building. Continental breakfast will be provided.

Adams State University Title V organized the events in their continued effort to provide the San Luis Valley community with opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

In 2001, Hernández joined the Johnson Space Center, in Houston Texas. Five years later he completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included space science and technical training, intensive instruction in Space Shuttle Fleet and international Space Station Systems, physiological training, T-34C and T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Hernandez was assigned to the Astronaut Office Shuttle Branch supporting shuttle launch and landing preparations at Kennedy Space Center. He departed NASA in January 2011.

His space flight experience includes: STS-128 Discovery (August 28 to September 11, 2009) was the 128th Shuttle mission and the 30th mission to the International Space Station. While at the orbital outpost, Hernández served as the flight engineer and one of two principal robotic arm operators. The STS-128 crew rotated an expedition crewmember, attached the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), and transferred over 18,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the station and conducted three spacewalks. The STS-128 mission was accomplished in 217 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 5.7 million miles in 332 hours and 53 minutes and returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Hernández credits his family for instilling a strong work ethic and the importance of education. He received his master's degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of California in Santa Barbara and bachelor's degree from the University of Pacific in electrical engineering.

Prior to NASA, Hernández worked for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for nearly 15 years.

The events are sponsored by ASU Title V, HSI STEM Grant, and Institutional Grant. For more information contact Marcella Garcia, Title V STEM director, at 719-587-8340 or mjgarcia@adams.edu.