Joseph M. Acaba

Infobox Astronaut
name =Joseph Michael "Joe" Acaba



type =NASA Astronaut
status =Active
nationality =American
date_birth =birth date and age|1967|5|17
place_birth =Inglewood, California
occupation =Hydrogeologist
selection =2004 NASA Group 19
time =
mission =
insignia =

Joseph Michael "Joe" Acaba (born May 17, 1967) is a Puerto Rican-American teacher, hydrogeologist, and NASA astronaut.cite web|url=http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/acaba-jm.html|title=Astronaut Bio: Joseph Acaba|month=February | year=2006|publisher=National Aeronautics and Space Administration|author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26] cite web|url=http://oeop.larc.nasa.gov/hep/hep-astronauts.html|title=NASA Hispanic Astronauts
publisher=National Aeronautics and Space Administration|author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26
] In May 2004 he became the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to be named as a NASA astronaut candidate when he was selected as a member of NASA Astronaut Training Group 19. [cite web|url=http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/04class.html|title=Astronaut Class of 2004 (Group 19)|publisher=NASA
author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26
] He completed his training on February 10, 2006 and is currently assigned to STS-119, which is tentatively set to launch on December 4, 2008 to deliver the final set of solar arrays to the International Space Station.

Early life

Acaba's parents, Ralph and Elsie Acabá, from Hatillo, Puerto Rico, moved in the mid-1960s to Inglewood, California. [ [http://astronomypr.com/articulos_acaba.html Astronomy PR] ] They later moved to Anaheim in the same state. [cite news | first= Dena | last= Bunis | title= Teacher Is First Peace Corps Veteran To Be Named NASA Astronaut | url= http://www.puertorico-herald.org/issues/2004/vol8n37/TchrPeacCorps.html | work= Orange County Register | date= 2004-05-10 | accessdate=2008-03-31 ] Since his childhood, Acaba enjoyed reading, especially science fiction. In school, he excelled in both science and math. As a child, his parents constantly exposed him to educational films, but it was the 8-mm film showing astronaut Neil Armstrong's Moon landing which really intrigued him about outer space. During his senior year in high school, Acaba became interested in scuba diving and became a certified scuba diver through a job training program at his school. This experience inspired him to further his academic education in the field of geology.Cite web|url=http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_Acaba_Interview_Text_E.html|title=Astronaut Candidate Interviews - Joseph Acaba|accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=November 21|publisher=NASA|year=2006|author=NASA] In 1985, he graduated with honors from Esperanza High School in Anaheim. [cite web|url=http://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/preparingtravel/ascan_bio_acaba.html
title= Joe Acaba, Mission Specialist-Educator |work=2004 Astronaut Class|date=May 6, 2004|publisher=NASA|author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26
]

Education

In 1990, Acaba received his Bachelor's degree in Geology from the University of California - Santa Barbara and in 1992, he earned his Master's degree in Geology from the University of Arizona. Acaba was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves where he served for six years. He also worked as a hydrogeologist in Los Angeles, California. Acaba spent two years in the United States Peace Corps and trained over 300 teachers in the Dominican Republic in modern teaching methodologies. He then served as Island Manager of the Caribbean Marine Research at Lee Stocking Island in the Exumas, Bahamas. Upon his return to the U.S., Acaba moved to Florida where he became Shoreline Revegetation Coordinator in Vero Beach. Acaba taught one year of science and math in high school and four years at the Dunnellon Middle School. [cite web|url=http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/acaba-jm.html|title=Astronaut Bio: Joseph Acaba|month=February | year=2006|publisher=National Aeronautics and Space Administration|author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26]

NASA career

On May 6, 2004, Acaba and ten other people where selected from 99 applicants by NASA as astronaut candidates. NASA's administrator, Sean O'Keefe, in the presence of John Glenn, announced the members of the "19th group of Astronaut Candidates", an event which hasn't been repeated since 1958 when the original group of astronauts was presented to the world. Acaba, who is an Educator Mission Specialist, completed his astronaut training on February 10, 2006 along with the other ten Astronaut Candidates.cite web|url=http://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/preparingtravel/ascan_bio_acaba.html
title= Joe Acaba, Mission Specialist-Educator |work=2004 Astronaut Class|date=May 6, 2004
publisher=NASA|author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26
] cite web
url=http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_ASCAN_Acaba_Interview.html
title=Meet NASA's Future Explorer - Joe Acaba|date=September 23, 2004|publisher=NASA
author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26
] Upon completion of his training, Acaba was assigned to the Hardware Integration Team in the International Space Station branch, working technical issues with European Space Agency (ESA) hardware. [cite web
url=http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_ASCAN_Acaba_Interview.html
title=Meet NASA's Future Explorer - Joe Acaba|date=September 23, 2004|publisher=NASA|author=NASA|accessdate=2006-11-26
]

Acaba is assigned to the crew of STS-119 as Mission Specialist Educator, tentatively scheduled to launch on December 4, 2008 to deliver the final set of solar arrays to the International Space Station.Cite web| url=http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2007/oct/HQ_07229_STS-119-Crew.html|title=NASA Assigns Crew for Final Solar Array Delivery to Station|accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=October 19| publisher=NASA| year=2007| author=NASA| language=English]

Recognition

On March 18, 2008, Acaba was honored by the Senate of Puerto Rico, which sponsored his first trip to that American territory since being selected for space flight. [ [http://www.elnuevodia.com/diario/noticia/puertoricohoy/noticias/aterriza_en_la_isla_astronauta_boricua/379376 ADENDI ] ] During his visit, which was announced by the President of the Puerto Rican Senate, the Honorable Kenneth McClintock, he met with schoolchildren at the Capitol, as well as at the Bayamón, Puerto Rico Science Park, which includes a planetarium and several surplus NASA rockets among its exhibits.

See also

*List of famous Puerto Ricans
*Puerto Rican scientists and inventors

References

External links

* [http://www.spacefacts.de/bios/astronauts/english/acaba_joseph.htm Spacefacts biography of Joseph Acaba]


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