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Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz

Keynote Speaker: Former NASA Astronaut, CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company, Inventor, Space & Energy Entrepreneur

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz Biography

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz became the first Latin American NASA astronaut in 1980 and ties the world record for most spaceflights. Over his 25-year career at NASA he flew 7 missions and logged over 1600 hours in space, 19 of which were on three spacewalks. Between his first flight in 1986 and his last in 2002, he supported some of the agency’s major milestones and accomplishments, including launching the Galileo probe to Jupiter (the first and only nuclear-powered device to fly on the space shuttle), the first mission of the Shuttle - MIR Program, which ultimately led to the International Space Station, a system which he subsequently helped build.

Chang Díaz is a four-time recipient of NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal, the agency’s highest honor. In 1986 President Reagan awarded him the Medal of Liberty during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. This honor was bestowed upon a select group of naturalized citizens who had made major contributions to U.S. society, including Bob Hope, Albert Sabin, Henry Kissinger, Itzhak Perlman, Elie Wiesel and I.M. Pei. Chang Díaz was inducted in the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2012.

Chang Díaz was born into a family of humble means in San José, Costa Rica in 1950 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1968, after high school, to pursue his dream of becoming an astronaut. In 1973, he received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut and, in 1977, a PhD in Plasma Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he designed and integrated control systems for fusion reactor concepts and experimental devices in both inertial and magnetic confinement fusion.

It was at MIT that he conceived the VASIMR® (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) engine. He continued his research on the VASIMR® engine while at NASA as Director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory. Upon his retirement from the agency, he founded Ad Astra Rocket Company to continue the development of the VASIMR® technology under the private sector, taking the engine from Technology Readiness Level 2 (TRL 2) to TRL 5. In 2021, the VASIMR® rocket engine broke a world record firing, in thermal steady-state for 88 continuous hours at 80kW, completing the company’s NextSTEP NASA contract. The company is currently advancing the technology to TRL-6 and a space flight demonstration to commercialize the engine for in-space logistics and transportation applications.

Ad Astra also has a wholly owned subsidiary in Liberia, Costa Rica, that has pioneered a 100% carbon-free green hydrogen ecosystem project and is dedicated to the implementation of green hydrogen infrastructure in the region and internationally.

Authoring three books about his life and his work on the VASIMR® engine, Chang Díaz served as Director on several boards, including Cummins Inc. (CMI, NYSE) a publicly traded Fortune -100 company. He was a Commissioner on President Clinton’s Presidential Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, and currently serves on the board of EARTH University and leads Strategy for the 21st Century, a Costa Rican NGO implementing “The 50-year Plan” to turn Costa Rica into a developed nation by mid-century.

His humble beginnings, vast life experiences, and deep desire to create and use advanced technology for the betterment of humanity make him a truly inspirational speaker with a unique ability to connect to a large range of audiences.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz and other top speakers and celebrities.

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz Speaking Topics

Space: exploration, propulsion systems, NASA shuttle program

Energy: renewable energy, electric transportation, building sustainable economies

Innovation & Advance Technology

Cultural Diversity & Inspirational Immigrations Story

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz Videos

Space Exploration: Driver of Collaboration or Competition?
JSC Virtual Event - Hispanic Heritage Month
Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz/Civic Duty

How do I book Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz are $50,000 - $100,000 for live events and $10,000 - $20,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz speak about?

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Space, Inventors, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Authors, Overcoming Adversity, Immigration, Inspirational, Motivational, Diversity, Hispanic Heritage, Technology and Teamwork & Teambuilding.

Where does Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz travel from?

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz generally travels from Houston, TX, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

If you’re looking for the best speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.


Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Space, Inventors and Energy. The estimated speaking fee range to book Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz for live events is $50,000 - $100,000, and for virtual events $10,000 - $20,000. Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz generally travels from Houston, TX, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Sylvia Acevedo, José M. Hernández and Shayla Rivera. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz for an upcoming event.

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz Speaking Topics

  • Space: exploration, propulsion systems, NASA shuttle program

  • Energy: renewable energy, electric transportation, building sustainable economies

  • Innovation & Advance Technology

  • Cultural Diversity & Inspirational Immigrations Story

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz Videos

Space Exploration: Driver of Collaboration or Competition?
JSC Virtual Event - Hispanic Heritage Month
Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz/Civic Duty
Space Summit: Welcome, ISS Greeting, and former NASA astronaut ...
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