Ellen Ochoa, Astronaut

Ellen Ochoa, Astronaut

Ellen Ochoa, who was part of the 1993 Discovery mission, was the first Hispanic woman to go to space. On that mission, she and fellow astronauts studied the sun’s interaction with Earth’s atmosphere. Ochoa was also part of the crew that docked the International Space Station for the first time. She’s been into space four times, and her missions are just the apex of her accomplishments as an astronaut.

Ochoa earned her bachelor’s degree in physics from San Diego State University, and then went on to gain a master’s and doctorate from Stanford University in electrical engineering. As the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, she was the first Hispanic and second woman to hold the honor. Additionally, she has earned NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal, as well as the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award. Among many other honors, six schools have been named in her honor.

Citation and Further Reading: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/about/people/orgs/bios/ochoa.html & https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ellen-Ochoa