Thursday, January 12, 2017
Dr. Franklin Chang-Díaz, NASA's first Latin-American astronaut, launched 1986
Dr. Franklin Ramon Chang Diaz was the third Latin-American in space and NASA's first when he took off January 12, 1986 in the Space Shuttle Columbia. He is of Chinese and Costa Rican ancestry, which has got to be a first somewhere. I'm not sure the Chinese could come up with a mixture like that!
He is a veteran of 7 Space Shuttle flights which ties for the record. His first mission landed 6 days after launch. It was the last space shuttle mission for a long time, since the Challenger exploded just 10 days later.
He was inducted into the NASA's Astronaut Hall of Fame May 5, 2012.