Jose Hernandez

Tagline: Hispanic Astronaut

Talent Highlights

  • José Hernandez’s inspring life story takes him on a journey from a migrant farmworker to a NASA astronaut.
  • Hernandez is the topic of Amazon Prime’s A Million Miles Away, a biopic about his path from a farm worker to becoming an engineer and an astronaut. 
  • He served as flight engineer aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-128 to the International Space Station and was formerly a Legislative Analyst at NASA Headquarters.
  • Hernandez is the founder of Tierra Luna Engineering, a consulting firm dedicated to providing an innovative approach on aerospace, advanced technologies, and education outreach while also providing turnkey solutions to increasing manufacturing capabilities in a sustainable and cost effective manner.
  • Hernandez has received two NASA Service Awards and seven honorary degrees, among other honors.

Keynote Topics

Jose Hernandez’s talk is an effective motivational talk where individuals leave so inspired, they re-evaluate and upgrade their personal and professional goals in life. This is accomplished by empowering attendees through his anecdotal stories of hard work and perseverance. He shares a simple yet effective recipe that serves as an effective tool in the empowerment process.

Reaching your full potential
Dare to dream big when you are willing to work hard for it
Jose shares his 6 ingredient recipe to success that lead him to his goal of becoming an Astronaut
His conference leads to re-evaluation and upgrading of the audience’s goal

Jose discusses how he developed his leadership and communication skills both as a social advocate in various community-based organizations and through experiences as he moved up through middle/senior management positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and NASA.

This is a sensitivity training course where Jose points out that everyone has internal biases. Acknowledging and managing these biases not only allows us to treat everyone equally, but in an inclusive manner. In doing so, we can focus on individualistic needs.

In a diverse workplace, differences exist, and people require support in different ways. Equity asks us to acknowledge that everyone has different needs, experiences, and opportunities.

This talks centers around the subject of common to high achievers, people who break barriers and/or are “first in their family to achieve.” These achievements cause individuals to doubt their abilities to the point they feel like a fraud.

It disproportionately affects people who break barriers and are one of the first in their families to have college graduate careers.

They typically find it difficult to accept their accomplishments and many questions whether they’re deserving of recognition and accolades. Jose not only talks about the subject, but also discuss methods he used to overcome such feelings.

This talk centers around the importance of staying on the leading edge of technology and how it affects our everyday lives. It introduces the concept of disruptive technologies, how to identify and take advantage of them.

Travels from:

  • Stockton, CA

Fee Range:

  • Fees* $10,001 - $20,000




NASA engineer Jose Hernandez wanted to fly in space ever since he heard that the first Hispanic-American had been chosen to travel into space. “I was hoeing a row of sugar beets in a field near Stockton, Calif., and I heard on my transistor radio that Franklin Chang-Diaz had been selected for the Astronaut Corps,” […]

NASA engineer Jose Hernandez wanted to fly in space ever since he heard that the first Hispanic-American had been chosen to travel into space.

“I was hoeing a row of sugar beets in a field near Stockton, Calif., and I heard on my transistor radio that Franklin Chang-Diaz had been selected for the Astronaut Corps,” says Hernandez, who was a senior in high school at the time.

“I was already interested in science and engineering,” Jose Hernandez remembers, “but that was the moment I said, ‘I want to fly in space.’ And that’s something I’ve been striving for each day since then.” And now that hard work has paid off.

Jose Hernandez was selected to begin training as a mission specialist as part of the 2004 astronaut candidate class.

“Some kids might think it would be fun to travel like that,” Hernandez laughs, “but we had to work. It wasn’t a vacation.”

Jose Hernandez | NASA Latino Astronaut

This system has proven useful for detecting breast cancer at an earlier stage than present film/screen mammography techniques. Hernandez has won recognition awards for his work on this project. He has also worked in the international arena where he represented Lawrence Livermore and the U.S. Department of Energy on Russian nuclear non-proliferation issues.

During the astronaut application process, Hernandez had to meet with a review board. That’s where he came face-to-face with his original inspiration: Franklin Chang-Diaz.

“It was a strange place to find myself, being evaluated by the person who gave me the motivation to get there in the first place,” Hernandez says. “But I found that we actually had common experiences — a similar upbringing, the same language issues. That built up my confidence. Any barriers that existed, he had already hurdled them.”

Hernandez smiles. “Now it’s my turn!”

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