Franklin Chang Diaz
Franklin Chang-Díaz is a former NASA astronaut and the current chairman and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company. Chang has recently been in the headlines for his creation VASIMR, a new space propulsion system that is now entering its commercial phase. Born in Costa Rica, he moved to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming an astronaut. Along the way to achieving that goal, Chang-Díaz earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut, and a Sc.D. in plasma physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an astronaut, he's flown on seven spaceflights—tying the record for most flights with Jerry L. Ross—and spent an impressive 1,601 hours away from Earth. For his work, Chang-Díaz has received many honors in his adopted land, the United States, and his motherland, Costa Rica. In this interview with María Hinojosa he talks about life in other planets, breaking barriers, and helping others to reach for the stars. Visit our photo gallery on Facebook.