26
Aug
09

We Have Ignition

If all goes according to plan, the Space Shuttle Discovery will lift off this Friday morning. Two Hispanic astronauts – Jose Hernandez and Danny Olivas – will be aboard, marking the first time that multiple Latinos will be on the same shuttle.

I imagine it drives racists insane. Not only are Hispanics spreading out beyond their home countries and inner-city barrios, now they’re taking off into outer space.

Watch it, there’s no place where Latinos aren’t poised to take over!

shuttle-launch---800x6001

In any case, much of the media attention has been fixed on Hernandez rather than Olivas. There’s a good reason for this. Hernandez has an amazing life story: As a child, he worked in the fields with his immigrant parents and didn’t even learn English until he was twelve. When he was a teenager, Hernandez read about NASA’s first Hispanic astronaut (a man with the truly cool name of Franklin Chang-Diaz). Thus inspired, Hernandez applied himself and moved beyond a lifetime of manual labor.

And now, he and Olivas will become two of the few Latinos to ever work in zero gravity. It’s a compelling saga, and I now look forward to hearing about the first Latino on Mars.

By the way, “First Latino on Mars” would be a great name for my autobiography. I’ll just have to make clear that I’m speaking metaphorically.

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