Things That Matter

The First Latina In Space Wants To Use Her Experience To Produce More STEM Graduates

The first Latina to ever travel to space is being honored and joining some of the greatest people in astronautics history. Ellen Ochoa broke the barrier of Latinas in space in 1993, just two years after becoming an astronaut. Since becoming an astronaut, Ochoa has logged 978 hours outside of Earth during four different missions to space and is now the Director of the Johnson Space Center.

Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina in space, will soon be part of the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

NASA Johnson / Flickr

According to a news release by The Kennedy Space Center, Ochoa holds the distinction of being the first Latina in space after boarding a STS-56 in 1993 as a mission specialist.

Ochoa wants to use her platform and experience to encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

NASA Johnson / Flickr

“I’m honored to be recognized among generations of astronauts who were at the forefront of exploring our universe for the benefit of humankind,” Ochoa told CBS8. “I hope to continue to inspire our nation’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math so they, too, may reach for the stars.”

According to a news release, Ochoa was chosen along former crew mate Michael Foale because of her extraordinary work to advance space exploration.

NASA Johnson / Flickr

“The courage, dedication and passionate spirit exhibited by both Dr.’s Foale and Ochoa is indicative of the extraordinary individuals who have been recognized in this way,” Dan Brandenstein, the board chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, said in a press release. “NASA’s mission is always expanding with a goal to learn more and go further. Our two new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame inductees have been pivotal in keeping that mission on course.”

Jerry Brown, the governor of California, took a moment to recognize the honorable accomplishment by the California native.

NASA Johnson / Flickr

“These talented individuals with their unique set of accomplishments show the best of California,” Gov. Jerry Brown said, according to Times of San Diego. “Their creativity and perseverance are a real inspiration.”



Ochoa calls La Mesa home and is one of three astronauts who graduated from Grossmount High School in El Cajon, Calif.

Congratulations, Ellen!

NASA Johnson / Flickr

READ: NASA Just Can’t Get Enough Of This Mexican Scientist

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Puerto Rico Lost Its Giant Telescope But Now It Hopes To Build A Giant Space Port

Things That Matter

Puerto Rico Lost Its Giant Telescope But Now It Hopes To Build A Giant Space Port

Puerto Rico’s famed Arecibo telescope collapsed in December after years of neglect and damage from earthquakes and hurricanes. But the island is looking to the future with the hope that the U.S. territory could become a major hub for space exploration as a potential space port.

Puerto Rico seeks to be a hub for international space travel.

Puerto Rico may best be known for its tourist packed beaches and its bankrupt finances, but as the island continues to recover from the economic disasters in the wake of hurricanes and earthquakes, it’s looking to the future.

And to many officials on the island, the future is in space exploration. The Caribbean island has put out a request for information, or RFI, seeking companies interested in turning a sleepy airport at the base of the El Yunque National Rainforest into a space port.

The island’s location between North and South America and close to the Equator gives it “viable trajectories to a large range of desirable low earth orbit launch inclinations,” Puerto Rico’s Port Authority said in a notice posted Friday.

The potential base could be a major boost to the Puerto Rican economy.

The site is currently a small airport that already houses an 11,000 feet runway and offers flights to various points in the territory. But with the existing infrastructure, officials state it could easily be converted into a space port.

If the site does generate interest, it would be a major boost to Puerto Rico’s small but vibrant aerospace sector. Honeywell Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace all have manufacturing plants on the island.

Puerto Rico would also join a growing number of U.S. states and jurisdictions that are vying for pieces of the commercial launch business, which is expected to become a trillion-dollar market over the next decade.

The executive director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (APPR), Joel A. Pizá Batiz, believes that “The aerospace industry is one of the economic sectors that is experiencing the most rapid growth. In fact, in the midst of the pandemic it was one of the few sectors that did not receive much impact,” he explained.

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JLo Celebrates 20 Years Of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” By Perfectly Recreating The Iconic Music Video

Entertainment

JLo Celebrates 20 Years Of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” By Perfectly Recreating The Iconic Music Video

It’s been twenty (20!) years since Jennifer Lopez’s iconic album J.Lo debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Since then, a lot has happened for the “Let’s Get Loud” international pop icon, not to mention the world.

But to help us all take a stroll down memory lane, J Lo recreated the music video for “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” and it’s honestly perfection. And perhaps kinda strange, since honestly, Lopez doesn’t look any different!

Jennifer Lopez celebrates the 20th anniversary of her album J.Lo in the best way possible.

JLo took us back over the weekend, all the way back to 2001, in honor of her second album J.Lo, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. The singer re-created a moment from the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” music video to celebrate the last two decades.

J.Lo specifically re-created the scenes on the beach where she discards her possessions and most of her clothes. This time around, she even threw her bracelet into the sand. And while she stopped short of replicating the original video’s ending in which she took her shirt off while walking into the sea, J.Lo ended her micro-update of the clip with a fake-out nodding to that original ending.

“As I reflect on the fact that it’s the #JLo20thAnniversary, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for being with me, loving me and supporting me through all the ups and downs,” Lopez captioned a second post. “Thank you so much for all the love over the past 20 years!! I love you so much!!”

It’s obvious that JLo herself knows just how iconic the song is – which is why, in another Instagram post she ended her caption with the hashtag #MyLoveDontCostAThing.

And, in case you were wondering, this is the original video from 2001.

The original music video was also a work of heart that did justice to the now and forever iconic song.

Her new take on the classic video has also spurred the #LoveDontCostAThingChallenge on social media.

While some tried their best to meet J Lo’s challenge, others pointed out that this must be a rich person’s challenge. I mean, not many of us are going to be ripping off our non-existent diamond jewelery and throwing it into the ocean or sand.

Lopez has a big year ahead of her and we can’t wait to follow along.

It’s been twenty years since J.Lo hit the charts so obviously a lot has happened for the pop star. Most recently, she performed “This Land Is Your Land” at the 2021 presidential inauguration. But she’s just getting started. This year, we can expect so much more, including a new rom-com called Marry Me with Maluma coming out on Valentine’s Day 2021.

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