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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?...more
Andrew Allen is an American astronaut who was born on August 4, 1955 in Pennsylvania. Before he became an astronauts, Allen was a Navy and Marines pilot. He has logged over 4500 flight hours on more than...more
Jay Apt is an American astronaut who was born on April 28, 1949 in Massachusetts. Before he became an astronaut, Apt was a physicist who worked on the Venus space probe project. Apt joined NASA in 198...more
Neil Armstrong is an American astronaut who was born in Ohio in 1930. Before entering the space program, he was a pilot for the U.S. Navy and Air Force, flying over 200 different kinds of aircraft, such...more
Ellen Baker is an American astronaut who was born on April 27, 1953 in North Carolina. Before she became an astronaut she was a geologist and a medical doctor. Baker joined NASA as a medical officer in...more
Michael Baker is an American astronaut who was born on October 27, 1953 in Tennessee. Before he became an astronaut, Baker was a Navy pilot. He logged over 5000 hours of flight time aboard 50 different...more
John Blaha is an American astronaut who was born on August 26, 1942 in Texas. Before he became an astronaut, Blaha was an Air Force pilot. He has flown over 5500 hours in 33 different types of aircraft....more
Guion Bluford is an American astronaut who was born on November 22, 1942 in Pennsylvania. Before he became an astronaut, Bluford was a pilot for the Air Force. He flew over 4800 hours on several different...more