From Farmworker to Astronaut / De campesino a astronauta: My Path to the Stars / Mi viaje a las estrellas

December 10, 2020
From Farmworker to Astronaut / De campesino a astronauta: My Path to the Stars / Mi viaje a las estrellas

Ten-year-old José M. Hernández watched the Apollo 17 moonwalkson his family's black and white television in 1972 and knew what hewanted to be when he grew up: an astronaut. Later that night hetold his father and was surprised when his dad said, "You can dothis, m'ijo!"Mr. Hernández told his son that if he really wanted to become anastronaut, he would need to follow a simple, five-ingredient recipeto succeed: 1) decide what you want, 2) recognize how far you arefrom your goal, 3) draw a road map to get there, 4) prepareyourself with a good education and 5) develop a good work ethic,always giving more than required.In the years to come, José would follow this recipe as heobtained undergraduate and master's degrees in electricalengineering. Adding his own ingredient, perseverance, he applied toNASA's astronaut program eleven times—and was rejected each time!Finally, in 2004, he was selected to be part of the 19th class ofUS Astronauts. He achieved his dream in 2009 when he served as theflight engineer on the Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-128fourteen-day mission to the International Space Station.In From Farmworker to Astronaut, José M. Hernándezrecollects his parallel journeys, juxtaposing memories of hismission to the space station and childhood aspirations to reach thestars. His story is sure to motivate kids to set goals and reachfor their own dreams.