Astronaut leaves NASA for industry

Jose Hernandez has left NASA's astronaut corps for a job in the private sector. Photo Credit: NASA

Jose Hernandez, an astronaut with ten years experience with NASA, who has served in a wide range of positions, is leaving the space agency. He has decided to leave NASA for work in the aerospace industry. Hernandez’ departure comes on the heels of many similar departures from NASA’s astronaut corps. Dom Gorie, Marsha Ivins and Alan Poindexter have all left the space agency recently. 

Hernandez is the son of Mexican migrant farm workers; he landed a job within the space agency in 2001 where he worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. While there he worked as a research engineer before progressing on to the Materials and Processes branch – where he served in a managerial capacity. A mere three years with NASA and he was selected as one of the nation’s elite – an astronaut. 

“Jose’s talent and dedication have contributed greatly to the agency, and he is an inspiration to many,” said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We wish him all the best with this new phase of his career.” 

Hernandez rode the space shuttle Discovery to orbit in 2009 where he helped transfer of over 18,000 pounds of supplies and equipment between the shuttle and International Space Station (ISS). He also assisted with robotics operations. Hernandez served as a flight engineer in the shuttle’s cockpit during the shuttle’s launch and landing.

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