Ellen Ochoa

Former Astronaut

Former Director of NASA Johnson Space Center

Ellen Ochoa was the Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX from 2013 until her retirement in May 2018.  She became the first Latina to go to space when she flew on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993.  She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours.  She currently serves on several boards including as Chair of the National Science Board.  Prior to her astronaut career, Dr. Ochoa was a research engineer and holds three patents for optical systems. She received a B.S. in Physics from San Diego State University, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.  She is an member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and the Optical Society of America (OSA). She is honored to have six schools named for her and has been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.