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Reception Wednesday for local astronaut
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STOCKTON – The clock will soon be off and running for local astronaut Jose M. Hernandez.

On Aug. 7, he’s scheduled to make his first-ever exploration into space aboard the shuttle, Discovery.

A kick-off reception for Hernandez, who’s assigned to serve as a mission specialist’s flight engineer, is planned for Wednesday, July 1, at the ball room of the Lexington Plaza Waterfront, 110 W. Fremont St., Stockton, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The event honoring his launch into space will be hosted by Hernandez’s “Reaching for the Stars” foundation.

His mission will be spearheaded by Commander Frederick Sturckow, a veteran of four space flights, and piloted by Kevin Ford.

The crew of Discovery also includes astronauts Patrick Forrester, Christer Fuglesang, John Olivas, Nicole Stott and Timothy Kopra.

Forrester, Fuglesang, and Olivas have previous experience in space.

Hernandez will be part of a mission consisting of bringing extra supplies and equipment to the International Space Station, with the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, Leonardo, as its primary payload.

The mission will also include several spacewalks necessary to do work outside ESA’s Columbus module along with an exchange of crew members.