Franklin Chang-Dìaz

astronaut, scientist
Born: April 5, 1950
Birthplace: San Jose, Costa Rica

Chang-Dìaz moved to the United States when he was in high school, and got a doctorate in applied plasma physics from MIT in 1977. He eventually achieved his dream of becoming an astronaut, entering space for the first time aboard Columbia in January 1986. He was the first Costa Rican astronaut, and, as of 2004, he was one of only two astronauts to have served on seven space missions, the other being Jerry Ross. Chang-Dìaz is also the director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where he has been developing a plasma rocket.

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