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Features

NASA Astronaut Joe Acaba

When Joe Acaba was selected as a member of the 19th NASA Astronaut Training Group in May 2004, he became the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to earn this opportunity. Upon completion of his training in February 2006, Acaba was assigned to space shuttle mission STS-119, with his first spaceflight taking place from March 15 to March 28, 2009. On May 15, 2012, Joe Acaba and Russian crew members Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M from Kazakhstan, headed for the International Space Station. The three astronauts arrived at the space station two days later and will remain there carrying out various experiments, such as the effect of the weightless environment of space on the human body and a range of different materials, until September this year.

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Features

Francisco Montaner Stadium – Tribute to a Sporting Legend

Named for one of Puerto Rico's greatest baseball pitchers of all time, Francisco "Paquito" Montaner, the Estadio Francisco Montaner is the home-ground of the Puerto Rico Baseball League's Leones de Ponce team, as well as the Puerto Rico Soccer League's FC Leones. With its 16,000 seat capacity, this multi-purpose stadium in the city of Ponce is located alongside the Juan Pachín Vicéns Auditorium, home to the Leones de Ponce basketball team. The stadium was built in 1949 and in 2003 became the first stadium of its kind to install artificial turf.

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Features

Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico

Operating as a private, non-profit organization, the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico (Fideicomiso de Conservación de Puerto Rico) manages a number of the island's environmentally sensitive areas, while promoting the concepts of conservation to schools and the general public through volunteer programs, reforestation projects and various community workshops and events. In this way the Conservation Trust works towards its goal of protecting and enhancing the precious natural resources of Puerto Rico.

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Features

Coffee, Rum, Sugar and Science in Puerto Rico

Visitors to Puerto Rico will no doubt enjoy at least one of its world famous beverages – rum, piña colada and coffee - while exploring this fascinating Caribbean island. It is interesting to note that two of these products were made more readily available due to the perseverance of Puerto Rican scientists, with the third reaching international markets due to the innovative thinking of Corsican immigrant farmers – all of which strengthened the Puerto Rican economy.

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Features

Enjoy a Day of Family-Fun at El Tuque

The El Tuque Recreational Complex and beach in the Punta Cucharas sector of Ponce was developed in 2002. It features an aquatic park with three large pools, one of which has waves, a maze of high-speed water slides and a variety of water-related activities. This popular family-oriented park also has a small marina and offers snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, kayaking and boating, while providing all the amenities for a day of relaxation and fun. An associated attraction is the Ponce International Speedway Park which boasts a circuit track and drag-racing track.

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Features

Talented Musician Jesús María Sanromá

Considered by many to be one of the most accomplished pianists of the 20th century, Jesús María Sanromá made his debut in 1913 in the Fajardo Municipal Theater – he was only eleven years old at the time. He went on to play at San Juan's Puerto Rican Ateneo in January 1916, where he was heard by José de Diego, an influential Puerto Rican statesman, journalist, lawyer and poet. Recognizing the incredible talent and potential of the young pianist, de Diego persuaded the Puerto Rican government to give him a grant to develop this talent through musical education in the United States, launching him on a most rewarding career.

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Features

Endemic Birds of Puerto Rico

With its variety of habitats and abundance of protected reserves, Puerto Rico has a rich and diverse range of bird species. Of the total of 349 recorded species of birds, 42 have been introduced to the archipelago, 16 are endemic, and 166 are considered to be vagrants, also referred to as "accidental", meaning that they have left their original habitats, found their way to Puerto Rico, and made it their home. While many of the bird species found in Puerto Rico are permanent residents, the majority are migratory, spending winter in the islands before returning to their natural habitat. But no matter what time of the year birding enthusiasts choose to visit Puerto Rico, there is always plenty to see.

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Features

Planetarium Planned for Arecibo Observatory

Home to the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, the Arecibo Observatory is one of Puerto Rico's top attractions, receiving around 100,000 visitors each year. Plans to build a state-of-the-art planetarium and hotel are likely to increase the number of visitors to this high-tech facility which has been featured in the movies GoldenEye and Contact. While boosting tourism, the new development will also be promoted for its educational value, with funding for the project coming from several public universities and government agencies. Metropolitan University president Federico Matheu was reported as saying that one of the objectives of the project is to create a doctoral program in astronomy and space science.

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