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Jose Hernandez's family disappointed about delays, but glad for safety measures

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Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:00 pm

Jose Hernandez's family was disappointed, but ultimately glad that the Lodi astronaut's launch was postponed twice.

"I think it was good for the safety of the astronauts," Gabriel Corona, Hernandez's brother-in-law, said Tuesday afternoon. "It's very disappointing, but they did the right thing. I think they found the problem in time."

Follow Jose on Twitter

NASA called off the launch on Tuesday when a critical fuel valve failed to work properly. That happened hours after a thunderstorm postponed the flight, scheduled for 10:36 p.m. PDT on Monday.

Hernandez reported on Twitter that late Thursday night (Pacific time) is the earliest possible launch time.

Talking to his son, Gabriel Corona Jr., 27, by phone on Tuesday, Corona said the launch schedule's uncertainty put other family plans - like a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. - up in the air.

There was also talk that family members might return home early to San Joaquin County, he said.

Hernandez, 47, grew up mostly in Stockton, graduating from Franklin High School in 1980, University of the Pacific in 1985 and University of California, Santa Barbara. Hernandez currently serves on Pacific's board of regents. He and his wife, Adela, have five children. They live in Houston, Texas.

Hernandez's parents, Julia and Salvador Hernandez, live on Cora Post Road, northeast of Highway 99 and Eight Mile Road.

More than 1,200 people showed up Monday night for a launch party on the Pacific campus, only to be disappointed that a major thunderstorm in Florida postponed the launch. The party was to continue Tuesday night until it was canceled that afternoon after NASA's second postponement.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

Jose Hernandez comments on launch delays

Lodi astronaut Jose Hernandez, using his typical sense of humor, was busy giving reports on Twitter about his space flight being postponed twice in as many days.

Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. PDT: "Going for a nice run. Looks like today's weather will cooperate for tonight's 1:10 a.m. EDT launch! Feels like Ground Hog Day! :-)"

Tuesday, 3:30 p.m. PDT: "Drats! 24-hour scrub! Won't launch until tomorrow! I guess I get to sleep one more night in a bed! More to come …"

To follow Hernandez's daily comments in English and Spanish, visit www.twitter.com/Astro_Jose.

News-Sentinel staff

On the Net: NASA

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