Sunday, March 30, 2008

Joseph M. Acaba, First Puerto Rican Astronaut!

Another day, another delay. This flight has again been pushed back and this time for no sooner than March 11, 2009 giving NASA the opportunity to check if some newly installed valves could cause the Shuttle any damage during its take off. My goodness this flight has been postponed so many times, that these astronaut's heads must be spinning. You can just imagine, thinking okay in a week we will be on our way, and then another delay. Of course, they must be trusting that each delay makes their flight safer and we do, too. But it doesn't hurt to pray, in fact, it blesses to pray. So Lord Jesus, we just pray that you be with this crew for Mission STS-119 and that their flight be surrounded with your protecting hand and blessings. Amen. Updated March 9, 2009.


Well, I just found out this week that Puerto Rico is going to have its first Puerto Rican astronaut, Joseph M. Acaba! Mr. Acaba who is also a teacher, with a BA and MA in Geology, was chosen from at least 2,000 other candidates and will be a Mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery in December[ Apparently this mission has been pushed back a couple of months and according to most recent information, it will depart no sooner than February 16th]* on his way to the International Space Station. I am so proud and to think how this can encourage our Puerto Rican students to put more effort into their studies. Though Mr. Acaba was born in California, both of his parents are from Puerto Rico. During his visit he quoted a Puerto Rican poet in saying that had he been born on the moon, he would still be "boricua."

On March 18th he visited the the island and was greeted by the Senate of Puerto Rico, including Senator Kenneth McClintock and Representative Luis Daniel Rivera. He also went to el Parque de las Ciencias (Science Park) in Bayamon and greeted students from several schools. My cousin, digo, mi niece, Michelle and her husband Victor, who are both active in the Sociedad de la Astronomia de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Astronomy Society) participated in the activity.

If you want to read more about his visit you may go to Astronomy Society of Puerto Rico website

Also see his bio at http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/acaba-jm.html

and also at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_M._Acaba

I wrote another entry recently with some great pictures of the completed mission as well as great images of Mr. Acaba in a space suit.

This bio includes information about Mr. Acaba's experience as a teacher in Florida. How about that?!

*Updated September 20th, 2008.