|Bay Area-native Jose Hernandez is set to travel to the International Space Station via Space Shuttle Discovery. -Courtesy of NASA|
Bay Area-native, long-time Raider fan and NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez is taking part in a space launch mission on August 25th. The Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-128, will embark on the 30th U.S. mission to the International Space Station and the flight will deliver equipment and supplies with a reusable multi-purpose logistics module. As part of Jose's Commitment to Excellence, he is taking a Raider flag in his mission to represent the Raider Nation in outer space.
"We wish Astronaut Hernandez, the entire crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery and NASA all the very best with the upcoming 30th US Mission to the International Space Station. The Raider Nation is now represented not only across the globe, but throughout the galaxy. We look forward to welcoming Astronaut Hernandez back --- and to a game or games --- when he returns to earth," said Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask.
The Raiders and The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) will honor Jose for serving as a role model for the Latino community around the world. The ceremony is going to take place during pre-game festivities of the Raiders vs. Broncos game on September 27. The game marks the eighth annual Fiesta Latina for the Raiders, a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Raiders, SHPE and NASA representatives will present Jose with a plaque recognizing his accomplishments and also with the flag that he previously took to the international space station.
"NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez has been an incredible role model for members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Latino community we serve," said Diana Gomez, chair of the board for AHETEMS, the education foundation of SHPE. "We are thrilled that the Oakland Raiders are joining us to honor Jose and his accomplishments during Hispanic Heritage Month."
Jose has taken the Raider motto of Commitment to Excellence to a universal level by developing an outstanding engineering career. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Pacific and a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California-Santa Barbara. After working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory he joined the Johnson Space Center. He was selected by NASA thereafter and completed his Astronaut Candidate Training. Jose was selected last year as a mission specialist for the STS-128 mission set to launch in August.
The Raiders have long been recognized as a global organization and have increased the league's popularity worldwide by playing in American Bowls in London, Barcelona, Tokyo and Mexico City.
The Raiders became the first and only NFL team to produce a complete Spanish language web site. The Silver and Black maintains a global presence and communicate with the worldwide Raider Nation through the team's official web properties which feature original and translated content in six different languages - Tagalog, Japanese, German, Chinese, Spanish and English.