In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I came across a very impressive American. His name is Franklin Chang-Díaz. Originally from Costa Rica, Chang-Díaz became a physical engineer, physicist, and is a former NASA Astronaut (he was NASA’s first Hispanic astronaut). He is also the founder and current CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company, a leading spaceflight technology company.
One of the reasons I took notice is that Chang-Díaz moved to Connecticut and graduated from Hartford High School, the University of Connecticut, and then MIT. Chang-Díaz was a visiting scientist (1983–93) at MIT, where he led a project that developed plasma propulsion for use in human flights to Mars. He served as director of NASA’s Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston from 1993 until 2005 when he retired from the agency. And as if that isn’t impressive enough, he was inducted into the NASA Hall of Fame in 2012. He is also a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions tying the record as of 2018 for the most spaceflights.
Bravo Franklin Chang Díaz! Your life and career should definitely be celebrated this month.
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