Commemorating Latinos who reached for the stars - and made it.
Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez
Born in Cuba, Tomayo Méndez , was the first person from Latin America to fly in space on September 18, 1980.
Christopher J. “Gus” Loria
Born July 9, 1960, in Belmont, MA, but considers League City, TX, to be his hometown. NASA selected Loria as an astronaut in 1996. He was assigned as the pilot for Space Shuttle mission STS-113, but he requested a reassignment due to an injury sustained at home and its subsequent impact on his training. Loria retired from the astronaut corps in 2005.
Rodolfo Neri Vela
Rodolfo Neri Vela, born Feb.19th, 1952, was the first Mexican to travel into space. Mission launch date was Nov. 26th, 1985.
Kneeling in front right, Franklin Chang-Diaz, born in Costa Rica on April 5th, 1950, was the first U.S. Hispanic astronaut. Throughout his career he's traveled to space seven times. His first mission was on January 12th, 1986, and his last was June 5, 2002.
Mexican-American Ellen Ochoa, born May 10, 1958, was the first female Hispanic astronaut. Ochoa’s had four missions to outer space, the earliest on April 8, 1993, and most recently on April 8, 2002.
Born May 30, 1958, Spaniard-American Michael Lopez-Alegria (on right) was the first Spanish-born astronaut. Throughout the years 1995 and 2006 Alegria has completed four launch missions.
Carlos I. Noriega
Born on Oct. 8, 1959, Carlos I. Noriega, pictured far left, is the first Peruvian-born astronaut. Two launch dates: May 15th, 1997 and Nov. 30th, 2000.
Born March 14,1963, Spanish astronaut Pedro Duque's had two launch missions on Oct. 29th, 1998, and Oct. 18th, 2003.
Sidney M. Gutierrez
Born on June 27th, 1951, Sidney M. Gutierrez is the first US-born Hispanic astronaut. To this date, he has had two mission launch dates, June 5th, 1991, and April 9th, 1994.
John D. Olivas
John D. Olivas born May 5th, 1965, is an American engineer and astronaut of Mexican descent. Olivas has completed two space shuttle missions. The first was on June 8th, 2007, and the second was on Aug. 28th, 2009.
George D. Zamka
Born in New Jersey on June 29,1962, and raised in Medellin, Colombia, George D. Zamka was an American Marine Corps pilot as well as a NASA astronaut. His two space shuttle missions were on Oct.23, 2007, and Feb.8, 2010.
Joseph M. Acaba
Born on May 17, 1967, mission specialist Joseph M.Acaba was the first Puerto Rican astronaut. Acaba had one launch mission, which was on March 15, 2009.
A comprehensive list of Hispanic astronauts.