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Kennedy Space Center

       In 1977, the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) began (and continues) to recruit engineers directly from the University of Puerto Rico’s engineering program in Mayaguez. Valencia Community College Professor and retired KSC physicist, Juan Pedro Rivera, remembers that when he first came to KSC just before that in 1976, he and Sam Colón from New York were probably the only Puerto Ricans there. By 1981 and the first launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia, about 25 Puerto Rican engineers worked at KSC.

Here is a digital story drawn from the oral histories of three of the engineers to arrive from Mayaguez in 1977. The digital story was developed by Dr. Natalie Underberg of the University of Central Florida’s Digital Ethnography Lab and Victor Randle of the University of Central Florida’s Center for Research in Education, Arts, Technology and Entertainment (CREATE).

Imagen de Florida 1

Kennedy Space Center engineers from Puerto Rico in front of the Space Shuttle Columbia, 1981. Standing: Iván Vélez, Roberto Tous, Gerardo Rivera, Héctor Borrero, Miguel Morales, José Ramírez, Rafael Gelpi, Miguel Rodríguez, Francisco Izquierdo, Juan Torres Vega. Front: Alberto Silva, Iván Seguinot, Andrés Huertas, Lucas Ferrer, Juan Rivera, Charles Gambaro, Pedro Juan Rosado, Pablo Auffant, Antonio Santiago.
Photo courtesy of Juan Pedro Rivera.

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Uploaded - 2010.