So I'm a geek at heart. I get a little excited when I read about cutting edge technology. And when it happens to coincide with Costa Rica, well! I think I need to get a fainting couch :-D.
Costa Rica's favorite technical son is Franklin Chang, the ASTRONAUT. But wait! Costa Rica doesn't *have* a space program, does it?!? Nope (not yet). Franklin Chang emigrated from Costa Rica to the United States. He became a USA citizen, a NASA astronaut, and flew seven missions (he is tied for first place for the most missions). Because of *him,* Costa Rica changed its citizenship laws** to allow for dual citizenship - otherwise, he would have had to give up his Costa Rican citizenship, which would have been just too sad for everyone.
Since retiring from NASA, he has been focused on his plasma engine development company, Ad Astra Rocket, which is located in Texas and Costa Rica.
PBS interviewed him, and you can see the video of it here - definitely worth watching: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/video/235-franklin_chang_diaz.html
And the technical news that got me started? Plasma engines! Ad Astra announced a successful test - love those milestones :-)
A note on names, if you are not familiar with the Spanish convention - A person (e.g., Franklin Chang Díaz) has two last names, the primary is his father's primary last name (Chang), and the secondary is his mother's primary last name (Díaz). Women do not change their names when they marry, but may alternatively be known as "de [husband's primary last name]" (de Chang). So, when you see the name "Franklin Chang Díaz" in Costa Rica, it is the same as "Franklin Chang" or "Franklin Chang D." This can cause confusion for emigres (in both directions). In the United States, he kept both names by hyphenating, and is "Franklin Chang-Diaz."
** For more on changing citizenship laws, see Michael Jones-Correa, "Why Immigrants Want Dual Citizenship."
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