Who was the first Latino Astronaut in Space to fly aboard the space shuttle?

The first Latino astronaut was Costa Rican born Franklin Chang Diaz (1950- ).

A physicist who specializes in plasma rockets, he became an astronaut in 1981 and first flew aboard the space shuttle in 1986.

California-born physicist Ellen Ochoa (1958-) was the first Latina astronaut. She became an astronaut in 1991 and first flew into space in 1993.

Hispanic Americans have also boldly gone into television space.

The starship bridge in the 1990s TV series Star Trek: Voyager features two Hispanic Americans: Chicano Robert Beltran as First Officer Chakotay, and Puerto Rican Roxann Biggs-Dawson as Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres.

Astronaut Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic American woman in space. She flew as payload commander on the space shuttle Atlantis in November 1994. She worked on the space shuttle with Mission Commander Donald R. McMonagle.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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