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Alejandra Márquez Abella y José Hernández, dos latinx de altos vuelos. Photo: APA/THR.
Alejandra Márquez Abella and Jose Hernandez are two high-flying Latinos. Photo: APA/THR.

Astronaut José Hernández's "galactic" story will be a movie

Mexican filmmaker Alejandra Márquez Abella will direct A Million Miles Away, a biopic about the life of the first Mexican-American to join NASA.

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Son of Mexican immigrants from Michoacán, the life of astronaut José Hernández is not the story of someone who took off like a rocket. He didn't have it easy and still managed to fulfill a dream of "astronomical" dimensions, and has become an inspiration for many Latinos in the United States. As generous as Hernandez is, he has not hesitated to share his childhood experience of moving from town to town, and then getting a master's degree from the University of California before joining the NASA in 2007.

But that is only part of his incredible career, which the astronaut revealed in his autobiography, Reaching for the Stars, published in 2012, and will now be adapted to film and directed for Netflix by Mexican filmmaker Alejandra Márquez Abella.

With a script by the recently-deceased German-American writer Bettina Gilois, A Million Miles Away is not only the first English-speaking film by Márquez Abella, who won critical acclaim in 2018 for The Good Girls, but also aims to be a surprising and emotional biopic where new biographical facts about Hernandez that many do not know will be revealed: such as the first full-field digital mammography imaging system Jose developed for the early detection of breast cancer before becoming an astronaut, and all the obstacles he had to jump to become a crew member on space mission STS-128 in 2009.
 
Although we do not yet know anything about the film's cast or release date, A Million Miles Away will begin shooting in 2021. We'll have to keep an eye out for the landing.

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