Some boys might dream of piloting the shuttle, but Hernandez says as the engineer, he had a better view than the pilot.
HERNANDEZ: "I was in the middle, a little bit aft. I had the best seat in the house because I could see the windows and had a panoramic view as we blasted off into space."
He says once up there, things get busy in a hurry. Besides being one of the robotic arm operators, he also got to conduct several experiments, including one that tested the affects of gravity on bone density.
The only so-so part of the experience?
HERNANDEZ: "Probably coming back home…adapting to 1 G when your body is used to a zero g environment…especially your vestibular balance system. Getting back, you know, it's almost like being carsick."
Hernandez believes the next tasks NASA will undertake are returning to the moon and learning how to live there.
On Monday, Capital Public Radio will have more with Jose as NASA embarks on a new spacecraft.