Portrait of Franklin Chang-Diaz
Franklin Chang-Diaz is an American astronaut who was born on April 5,
1950, in Costa Rica. Before he became an astronaut, Chang-Diaz was an
engineer in physics.
Chang-Diaz became an astronaut in 1980. He was the first
Hispanic-American to travel in space. He has spent over 1033 hours in
space on 5 spaceflights.
In 1986, Chang-Diaz flew aboard space shuttle Columbia. The crew put a
satellite into orbit. Chang-Diaz made his second spaceflight aboard
STS-34 in 1989. This mission launched the spacecraft Galileo. Galileo
travelled to Jupiter and is gathering data about the planet.
In 1992, he made his third flight aboard STS-46. The crew conducted the
first Tethered Satellite System test. In 1994, Chang-Diaz flew aboard
STS-60. This mission was the
first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission.
In 1996, Chang-Diaz made his last flight aboard STS-75. The crew made
a reflight of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS). The TSS successfully
proved that tethers can produce electricity in space. It also provided new
information about plasma physics. Unfortunately, the tether broke 19.7 km out.
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