California Lutheran University to share story of astronaut Jose Hernandez as part of Latin Heritage month

Astronaut Jose Hernandez Image courtesy of NASA

California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA, will share the story of the NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez and how his life transitioned from being a migrant worker to a space astronaut. The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20, at Lundring Events Center, at 2:30 p.m.

Life Journey from Migrant Worker to Astronaut

In this presentation, Jose Hernandez, MS, will discuss his life as a migrant farmworker and how he eventually became a NASA astronaut. The amazing life of Hernandez is the subject of "Reaching for the Stars," a film that is now in production at Amazon Studios. 

According to Cal Lutheran News, Hernandez spent the majority of his childhood on what he refers to as "the California circuit." He would travel with his family from Mexico to Southern California each March and then work their way northward to the Stockton area by November, picking strawberries and cucumbers at farms along the way. 

They went back to Mexico in time for Christmas, and when spring came around, they began the cycle all over again.

Hernandez received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, which he attended after completing his high school education in the city of Stockton. 

His continued education in engineering led him to pursue a graduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was granted a full scholarship. 

After working there on a co-op basis while he was in college, he decided to accept a full-time position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1987. 

As per the report, Hernandez was one of the individuals that NASA chose to include in its 19th group of astronaut candidates in the year 2004. He was selected for a mission in 2007, and in 2009, he completed that mission as the flight engineer on a trip on the space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station that lasted for 14 days.

Hernandez was a flight engineer who also controlled one of the two main robotic arms. He was the head of NASA's Materials and Processes Branch at Texas's Johnson Space Center before being chosen as an astronaut.

About California Lutheran University 

California Lutheran University was established in 1959 and designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2016. 

It is currently home to more than 2,513 undergraduate students and 1,102 graduate students who hail from more than 59 different countries and represent a wide range of religious traditions, according to the website.

Their devoted and accomplished faculty works one-on-one with students in classes that are kept at a manageable size. These students have an open mind regarding ideas, people, and faith, and they are looking to develop themselves as individuals.

In addition to its undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional professions, California Lutheran University is a selective, all-encompassing school. 

Students learn how to develop as unique people while being guided by instructors who are both knowledgeable and invested in their success. 

Richard Pederson, the son of Norwegian emigrants, gave a ranch that would become California Lutheran University in 1959. In September 1961, 330 freshmen enrolled at the university, and by May 1964, the college had conducted its first Commencement.

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