Fighting to Reach New Heights

with Jose M. Hernandez, Retired U.S. Astronaut

See how José M. Hernandez fought from humble beginnings to reach the stars.

The secret to success isnever giving up

Fighting Spirit

Since he was ten years old, Jose Hernández knew he wanted to be an astronaut. But that title wasn’t going to be given, it had to be earned.

The son of farm workers, Jose was constantly moving up and down the California coast. Maintaining a normal routine was hard enough, but with the full support of his parents, Jose was instilled with the perseverance to fight for his dream. He went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering.

He applied to the largest US space program eleven times and was repeatedly denied. Finally, at the age of 42, he was accepted, and worked as a mission specialist. “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and never give up;” says Hernandez, “if you mix that up together, you’ve got a fighting chance to reach for your own stars.”

"They rejected me not once, not twice, not even three times. It was eleven times."