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Ellen Ochoa

Director, Johnson Space Center

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Ellen Ochoa on getting into NASA, going into space, and raising children to be excited about science.
Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go into space when she served on a mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. After graduating with a master of science degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford, Ochoa became an astronaut in July 1991. Since then, she has served on four space flights, logging nearly 1,000 hours in space. In 2007, she joined the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas as Deputy Director, helping manage the Astronaut Office and Aircraft Operations. By 2013, she was promoted to director, becoming the first Hispanic and second female director of the Johnson Space Center.  

More From Ellen

An Exciting Field for You
How Ellen Ochoa began exploring science and engineering.

Something That I Want to Continue
Ellen Ochoa on how children can get involved in science and space at an early age.

Enough About Space, Mom
How Ellen Ochoa’s kids responded to their mom being in orbit.

Where We Need to Be
Ellen Ochoa talks about the milestones NASA has reached, and the ground we still need to cover.

Making It Work
Ellen Ochoa talks about balancing work and parenthood.

A Star Trek Kind of Moment
Ellen Ochoa on living in a weightless environment and seeing another world.

I Did Feel Prepared
Ellen Ochoa on preparing for failure in space.

Hanging on Your Every Word
Ellen Ochoa on how talking about her experience makes an impact on kids’ lives.

A Real Thrill for Her
Ellen Ochoa talks about her mother’s worry and support.  

It Could Be a Long Wait
The timeline of going to space doesn’t always mean immediate gratification.

That Deeper Level
The advice that Ellen Ochoa got when she joined the astronaut office.

Something That's Going to Pay Off
Ellen Ochoa’s approach to learning new, valuable skills.