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Latino Daily News

Friday July 8, 2011

As the Last Space Shuttle Mission Soars, Remembering Hispanics Contribution to Space Shuttle Program

As the Last Space Shuttle Mission Soars, Remembering Hispanics Contribution to Space Shuttle Program

Photo: Final Space Shuttle Launch

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

As the space Shuttle Atlantis soared into space from the Kennedy Center and in front of an estimated 750,000 spectators this afternoon, HS-News travels down memory land to remember Hispanics contribution to the 30-year NASA program. Latino astronauts have become pioneers for the entire community, breaking barriers and inspiring achievement in science and technology.

Over the 30 years and 135 launches there have been many Hispanics and Latinos involved as support staff, engineers and of course as astronauts here are a few of them:

*  Jose Acaba (1st Puerto Rican on Space, in 2009 went on the International Sapce Station for two weeks)

*  Frank Caldeiro (Argentinian conducting atmospheric research on 2006)

*  Franklin Chang-Diaz (of Costa Rican descent, 1st Hispanic on space mission in 1986)

*  Sidney Gutierrez (veteran of two space mission: 1991, 1994)

*  Jose Hernandez (son of Mexican immigrants, Discovery space shuttle 2009)

*  Christopher “Gus” Loria (selected as astronaut 1996)

*  Michael Lopez-Algeria (1st Spanish astronaut, performed 10 spacewalks)

*  Rodolfo Neri Vela (born in Mexico flew space mission making him first Mexican to travel in space)

*  Carlo I. Noriega (born in Peru, selected as astronaut 1994, flew two mission in 1997 & 2000).

*  Ellen Lauri Ochoa (1st female Hispanic, flew in 1993 space shuttle, current Deputy Director of Johnson Space Center)

*  John ‘Danny’ Olivas (of Mexican descent, flew on two space shuttles: 2007, 2009)