Several local students got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, meeting an astronaut.
Former NASA astronaut José Hernández stopped by at the Raices Cultura Art Space in downtown Coachella. There he met several students and shared stories about his life and journey to and from outer space. Hernandez was a farm worker growing up, before becoming an engineer and eventually fulfilling his dream of becoming an astronaut. “This is a great opportunity for me to show students they’re allowed to dream big and reach for the stars,” Hernandez said.
This was Hernandez’ first trip to the Coachella Valley. He hopes young valley students use his story of perseverance and triumph as motivation. Dozens of local students attended the event and were excited to meet their role model. “He inspires me and he believes and that makes me believe too,” fifth grade student and Coachella resident Liliana Ruiz said.
Hernandez was assigned to the crew of space shuttle mission STS-128. He also served as chief of the materials and processes branch of the Johnson Space Center in Texas.