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définition - Franklin_Chang-Diaz

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Franklin Chang-Díaz

Franklin Ramón Chang-Díaz
NASA Astronaut
Nationality Costa Rican, American
Status Retired
Born (1950-04-05) April 5, 1950 (age 62)
San José, Costa Rica
Other occupation Physicist
Alma mater University of Connecticut (BS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
Time in space 66d 18h 16m
Selection 1980 NASA Group
Missions STS-61-C, STS-34, STS-46, STS-60, STS-75, STS-91, STS-111
Mission insignia STS-61-c-patch.png Sts-34-patch.png Sts-46-patch.png Sts-60-patch.png Sts-75-patch.png Sts-91-patch.png Sts-111-patch.png
Franklin Chang-Díaz
Traditional Chinese 張福林
Simplified Chinese 张福林

Franklin Ramón Chang-Díaz (born April 5, 1950)[1] is a Costa Rican American engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut. He is currently president and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company.[2] He is a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions, making him the record holder as of 2008 for the most spaceflights (a record he shares with Jerry L. Ross). He was the third Latin American to go into space,[3] (first Latin American was Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez[4] from Cuba in 1980, and second was Rodolfo Neri Vela from Mexico in 1985) and is the first naturalized US citizen to become an astronaut.[5] He is a member of the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame.


  Family and education

He was born Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz in San José, Costa Rica on 5 April 1950 to a father of Chinese descent, Ramón Angel Chang Morales (born 1919), an oil worker whose own father fled China during the Boxer Rebellion.[6] His mother is Costa Rican, María Eugenia Díaz Romero (born 1927). One of six children, he has a younger sister, Sonia Rosa (born December 1952), and his mother, brothers, and sisters live in Costa Rica. His elder daughters are Jean Elizabeth (born December 1973), and Sonia Rosa (born March 1978). He married Peggy Marguerite Doncaster in the United States on 17 December 1984 and his younger daughters are Lidia Aurora (born March 1988) and Miranda Karina (July 1995),[7] both born in Houston, Texas.[8][9][10][11]

He graduated from Colegio de La Salle in San José in November 1967, then moved to the United States to finish his high school education at Hartford Public High School in Connecticut, in 1969.[11] He went on to attend the University of Connecticut, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and joined the federal TRIO Student Support Services program in 1973.[12] He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Doctor of Plasma Physics in applied plasma physics in 1977.[12] For his graduate research at MIT, Chang-Díaz worked in the field of fusion technology and plasma-based rocket propulsion.[5]

  NASA career

Chang-Díaz was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1980 and first flew aboard STS-61-C in 1986. Subsequent missions included STS-34 (1989), STS-46 (1992), STS-60 (1994), STS-75 (1996), STS-91 (1998), and STS-111 (2002). During STS-111, he performed three EVAs with Philippe Perrin as part of the construction of the International Space Station. He was also director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center from 1993 to 2005. Chang-Díaz retired from NASA in 2005.[5]

  Post-NASA career

After leaving NASA, Chang-Díaz set up the Ad Astra Rocket Company, which became dedicated to the development of advanced plasma rocket propulsion technology. Years of research and development have produced the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an electrical propulsion device for use in space.[13] With a flexible mode of operation, the rocket can achieve very high exhaust speeds, and even has the theoretical capability to take a manned rocket to Mars in 39 days.[14]

Chang-Díaz also is active in environmental protection and raising awareness about climate change, notably in his role in Odyssey 2050 The Movie in which he encourages young people to get motivated about environmental issues.[15]

  Dr. Chang with students during the filming of Odyssey 2050 The Movie at Ad Astra Rocket Company.

In addition, Chang-Díaz is an Adjunct Professor in Physics and Astronomy at Rice University.[16]

  Awards and honors

Franklin Chang-Díaz was inducted into the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 5th, 2012[17] in a ceremony that took place the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Also, due to his career and scientific success, he has been decorated multiple times in Costa Rica and named Honor Citizen by the national legislature.[18] The Costa Rican National High Technology Center (CeNAT), among other institutions, is named after him.[19]


One of his daughters, Sonia Chang-Díaz, was elected member of the Massachusetts Senate in November 2008, representing the second Suffolk district seat.[20][21]

  See also


  1. ^ "Chang-Díaz, Franklin". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 121-124. ISBN 9780824211219. 
  2. ^ Ad Astra Rocket Company – About us, company website, accessed 2010-03-10
  3. ^ NOVA Science Now. "Profile: Franklin Chang-Diaz". PBS. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/profile-chang-diaz.html. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ EcuRed. "Profile: Franklin Chang-Diaz". EcuRed. http://www.ecured.cu/index.php/Arnaldo_Tamayo_M%C3%A9ndez. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Franklin Chang-Diaz: Astronaut and Rocket Scientist, WIRED Science, 2007-11-14, accessed 2010-03-10.
  6. ^ Chang-Díaz, Franklin R.: 1950—: Astronaut, Physicist Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved: 2012-05-05.
  7. ^ Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz – Keynote Speaker Babson. Retrieved: 2012-05-05.
  8. ^ Consultas de hechos y actos civiles y electorales Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones. Retrieved: 2012-05-05. (Spanish)
  9. ^ La familia Díaz de San José La Nación. Retrieved: 2012-05-05. (Spanish)
  10. ^ Space Shuttle Mission STS-75 Press Kit NASA. February 1996.
  11. ^ a b Biographical Data: Franklin R. Chang-Dìaz (Ph.D.) NASA. August 2005.
  12. ^ a b Spacefacts Biography of Franklin Chang-Diaz. Spacefacts. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  13. ^ http://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/travelinginspace/future_propulsion.html
  14. ^ http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/9q3z5/former_astronaut_dr_franklin_changdiaz_explains/
  15. ^ Whelan, Ben. "Odyssey 2050". Odyssey 2050. British Embassy Costa Rica. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjFG-v82Sew. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Franklin Chang-Diaz". Faculty Information System. Rice University. http://report.rice.edu/sir/faculty.detail?p=D50705E91B4F8D4FC665EBF1DEA48659. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  17. ^ [1] Collect Space
  18. ^ Biographical Data: Franklin R. Chang-Dìaz (Ph.D.) NASA. August 2005.
  19. ^ Address: Building Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz, 1.3 km. North American Embajda Pavas, San Jose, Costa Rica Centro Nacional de Alta de Tecnología (CeNAT), 2011.
  20. ^ "Sonia Chang-Diaz grabs Senate seat - BostonHerald.com". Boston Herald. 2008-11-05. http://news.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1130129. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  21. ^ Drake, John C. (2008-09-17). "A Senate fixture toppled: Chang-Díaz defeats embattled Wilkerson in primary". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/09/17/a_senate_fixture_toppled/. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 

  External links



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