NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, back on Earth after competing the STS-128 shuttle mission to the ISS earlier this month, is contemplating his future, a Stockton (Calif.) Record article today notes. He tells his hometown paper that he hopes to get assigned “to a space mission aboard a Russian aircraft”, which is likely the paper garbling a desire tto go to the ISS on a Soyuz mission. The paper adds something interesting, though: “He also is contemplating a political career to represent the Stockton area in Congress.”
While it’s not clear how far off his political career might be, he’s gotten involved in one hot-button issue recently. After landing, Hernandez told Mexican television he thought that undocumented workers in the US should be granted legal status: a rare public stance on a political issue by an active astronaut. “I work for the US government, but as an individual I have a right to my personal opinions,” he told a Mexican television show after his comments generated a minor controversy, as the Los Angeles Times reported.