Rodríguez was born in the Santurce section of the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico where he received both his primary and secondary education. In 1969, he along with millions of other people around the world, witnessed the historical moment when Neil Armstrong from the Apollo mission stepped on the moons surface. Like so many other young men at the time, Rodríguez felt inspired to consider a career in the Space program of the United States known as NASA.
After Rodríguez graduated from Colegio Espiritu Santo high school in Hato Rey, in 1971, he enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico's Mayagüez campus, where the Engineering College is located. Rodríguez earned his Mechanical Engineer Degree in 1976, however he had applied for a job with NASA in 1975, a year before his graduation. After graduating, he was called for an interview and offered a job in NASA. He became a mechanical engineer, designing parts for the Space Shuttle, at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Career in NASAEdit
In 1979, Rodríguez was transferred to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Eventually he was named Director of Stennis Operations, where he managed facility construction, security and other programs for 4,500 Stennis personnel. Rodríguez worked as the integration engineer for the STS-31 Hubble Space Telescope payload. He also led a team which developed a tool for capturing employee competencies and skills in support of the Agency Core Capabilities Assessment.
Rodríguez entered management in 1986, serving as the Chief of the Integration Office at Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office at the Air Force Station. He is also the Director of the Propulsion Directorate at Stennis Space Center located in Mississippi. His team worked on the STS-114 engines which were installed on the Discovery Space Shuttle launched in August 2005.
Awards and recognitionsEdit
Among his awards and recognitions from NASA are:
- List of famous Puerto Ricans
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