NASA named a man of Hispanic descent as chief of its astronauts for the first time

Joseph Acaba (NASA)

The POT announced Thursday the appointment of joseph acaba as head of the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston (Texas), a position in which until now there had not been a person of Hispanic origin like him.

Acabá, a Californian, a veteran astronaut from Puerto Rican origin who has been a total of 306 days in spacespread over three missions, replaces US space agency astronaut Drew Feustel, who has been acting head of the office since Reid Wiseman stepped down at the end of 2022.

In his new role, Acabá will be responsible for managing astronaut resources and operations.

It will also help develop operational concepts for astronaut flight crews and assign crews for future spaceflight missions, including astronauts assigned to fly the missions. Artemis.

Born in 1967, Acabá flew in 2009 aboard the STS-119 in the space shuttle discovery to the International Space Station (ISS) to deliver the last pair of power-generating solar panel wings, and conducted two spacewalks.

In 2012 he traveled aboard a Russian spacecraft soyuz to the space station, where he worked as a flight engineer for Expedition 31/32.

In addition, he recently served as a flight engineer on the International Space Station for the Expedition 53/54.

He recently served as a flight engineer on the International Space Station (Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service via AP, file)
He recently served as a flight engineer on the International Space Station (Press Service of the Roscosmos Space Agency via AP, file) (Uncredited /)

“Congratulations to Joe Acabá on his appointment as the new head of the Astronaut Office! Joe is a seasoned space pilot and recognized leader, and will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of NASA astronauts,” he stated. bill nelsonNASA administrator, in a statement released this Thursday.

“As we build on the unprecedented success of the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit, with our sights set on the Moon and then Mars, Joe will play a critical role in ensuring our NASA astronauts are prepared for the challenges that await them,” he added.

Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche, He also congratulated Acabá and wished him “the best” in his new position.

Just was born in inglewood and received a BS in Geology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an MS in Geology from the University of Arizona, and an MS in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Before being selected as an astronaut in 2009, Acabá was in the Marine Corps Reserve in the United States and in the Peace Corps, where he served as geologist and professor of secondary education.

“Joe is an excellent leader who brings a wealth of experience to the Astronaut Office,” said NASA Director of Flight Operations Norm Knight.

Since his return to Earth, Acabá has supported the astronaut office in various capacities, including director of operations in Russia and head of the Vehicle Integration Test Office.

(With information from EFE)

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