This Mexican American Astronaut Has a Unique Perspective on Borders

The son of Mexican migrants, José Hernández grew up picking fruit on farms. He always dreamed of becoming an astronaut, and finally achieved his goal—after NASA rejected him 11 times. In 2004, he became part of NASA’s 19th class of astronauts.


While flying over North America from outer space, Hernández says he got a unique perspective on cross-border politics. “I had to go out of this world to realize that borders are human-made concepts designed to divide us,” he says. Hernández, who ran for Congress in 2012 after encouragement by former President Obama, says Trump’s election has inspired him to run again in 2020.

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