As a U.S.-born son of Mexican immigrants, Hernández spent half his life in the country of origin of his parents and the rest in the United States. According to Mexico Reporter, he is a national hero in Mexico and his life story is an inspiration to many in both countries. Hernández is a former migrant worker, who worked in the fields alongside his parents, and now he has made his first trip into space.
His bilingual twitter account has been providing updates during the preparation for the launch, which was originally scheduled for August 25. Due to some mechanical difficulties, it was pushed back several days. The false starts and the repeated preparation routine began to have a familiar feeling after awhile:
Going for a nice run. Looks like todays weather will cooperate for tonight's 1:10 a.m EDT launch! Feels like Ground Hog Day! :-)
It was during these preparations, when Hernández had a phone conversation with Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
Finally the day arrived, and the Space Shuttle launched into orbit on August 28. Once Hernández was already in space, he provided his thoughts on his first day in space:
Settling in and realizing my dream… Micro G is great. Finished setting up the computers and ready for bed! Don’t need pillow!
#onorbit Finished flight day 3 & docked to the Station. Met our 6 neighbors & they seem nice! So nice we are giving one of them a ride home!
Follow his tweets for the rest of the mission at @Astro_Jose