Former astronaut Jose Hernandez relives the tense moments he experienced during liftoff of the Discovery Space Shuttle while speaking to Jackson Intermediate eighth-graders on Monday. Hernandez was a member of the 2009 Discovery crew and spent nearly two weeks in space.
Former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, a member of the Space Shuttle Discovery crew during a two-week mission in 2009, discussed his career and the importance of maintaining educational goals during an assembly of eighth-graders at Jackson Intermediate on Monday.
Hernandez, who left NASA earlier this year, spoke just a few hours after the Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., for its final mission.
"You couldn't ask for better timing than to have an astronaut visit us the same day that the shuttle makes its last flight," Jackson Principal Paula Sword said.
Hernandez, who grew up in a family of migrant workers in California, was introduced by U.S. Rep. Gene Green of Houston.
Rep. Green presented Sword with an U.S. flag that flew over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on March 2, Texas Independence Day.
Eighth-graders at Jackson are planning a field trip to NASA next week.
U.S. Rep. Gene Green presents a U.S. flag to Jackson Principal Paula Sword on Monday. The flag flew over the U.S. Capitol Building on March 2, Texas Independence Day.