Launching into History on April 9, 1994, on the space shuttle Endeavor, Air Force Academy graduate Col. Sidney Gutierrez became the first Hispanic to command a spacecraft. Joining NASA in 1984, he was selected as an astronaut the following year. He has served as a commander for the shuttle Aeronautics Integration Laboratory and as pilot on the STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences mission and the STS-59 Space Radar Laboratory mission. He led his crew in setting two shuttle records: one for executing 400 precise maneuvers to position a satellite and the second for taking 14,000 photographs as part of an imaging and mapping mission. A recipient of numerous awards, Gutierrez received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and two Space Flight Medals.