Franklin R. Chang-Díaz, Astronaut

Happy birthday to Franklin R. Chang-Díaz, a Costa Rican-born engineer, physicist, and NASA astronaut.  Díaz immigrated to the US when he was eighteen, and learned English during his senior year of high school.  His goal was to become an astronaut.   He earned a BA in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Ph D in applied plasma physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In 1981, Chang-Díaz became a NASA astronaut.  He has flown on six space shuttle missions, including the launch of the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter in 1989 and the final shuttle visit to the Russian Mir space station in 1998.