Joseph M. Acaba was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 2004. The California native of Puerto Rican Heritage has logged a total of 138 days in space during two missions. In 2009, Acaba flew aboard STS-119 on the Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element. During this mission, he conducted two spacewalks. In 2012, Acaba flew aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the space station where he worked as Flight Engineer for the Expedition 31/32. During this mission, the first commercial resupply spacecraft,SpaceX Dragon, arrived at the station. Acaba recently served as Director of Operations Russia in Star City supporting crew training in Soyuz and Russian Segment systems. He is currently a part of the Expedition 53/54 crew that launched to the International Space Station in September 2017.
Acaba was a member of the United States Marine Corps, Reserves. He worked as a hydro-geologist in Los Angeles, California, primarily on Superfund sites, and was involved in the assessment and remediation of groundwater contaminants. He spent two years in the United States Peace Corps as an Environmental Education Awareness Promoter in the Dominican Republic. Prior to arriving at NASA, he taught one year of high school science at Melbourne FL. Joseph M. Acaba is proud of his Puerto Rican Heritage.