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José Hernandez, a former migrant farmworker, was selected by NASA as a member of their 19th class of astronauts in 2004. He flew as the flight engineer in the 2009 14-day STS-128 mission aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station.

Prior to this, José spent more than 15 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where he worked on the development of a space deployed X-Ray laser as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative, among other things.

After his space mission, he was assigned to work at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he served as a Legislative Analyst and helped in the development of space policy.

Today, José works as a consultant within the company he founded in 2012, Tierra Luna Engineering, where he provides his expertise in business development and strategic operations to help clients develop optimum growth solutions through an integrated approach.

José has received numerous awards, including NASA Service Awards (2002, 2003), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Outstanding Engineer Award” (2001), Upward Bound National TRIO Achiever Award (2001), U.S. Department of Energy “Outstanding Performance Commendation” (2000), Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) “Medalla de Oro” recipient for professional and community contributions (1999) and the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award, “Outstanding Technical Contribution” (1995). José has also been awarded 7 honorary doctorate degrees including one from his alma mater, University of the Pacific.

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