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This Puerto Rican astronaut has been affected by double hurricanes


The International Space Station's Joe Acaba, who is the first Puerto Rican astronaut, has been affected by two hurricanes in orbit.

Acaba has spent the past four months on the International Space Station and returned to Earth Sept. 17.

In an interview from the space station on Wednesday, the astronaut offered comforting words to residents in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria bears down on the island.

"My parents were born there, so a lot of relatives, cousins, godparents" are still in Puerto Rico, Acaba said. "I hope everyone's doing well and that you take care of yourselves."

In 2004, Acaba became the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to be nominated as a NASA astronaut candidate. Acaba spent 13 days in space as a mission specialist in 2009, where he conducted two spacewalks, according to NASA's website.

Acaba says that he brought the Puerto Rican flag with him on his trip.

"No Puerto Rican can travel without their Puerto Rican flags, so I have my share of those. And pretty soon, the space station's going to start looking like Puerto Rico with all the flags," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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