Today we explore the life of Ellen Ochoa, an engineer, former astronaut and former Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ellen was the first Hispanic woman to go to space and here we discuss why she’s a Claritas #Techspiration.
- Ellen Ochoa was born May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles, California
- She graduated from Grossmont High School in El Cajon in 1975
- Following school, Ellen went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from San Diego State University
- Ellen later earned a Master of Science degree and a doctorate from Stanford Department of Electrical Engineering in 1981 and 1985
- Working as a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories and the NASA Ames Research Center, Ochoa investigated optical systems for performing information processing
- Ellen was selected by NASA in 1991 and became an astronaut.
What makes her great?
After years of work, Ellen was selected by NASA in 1991 to participate in its astronaut programme. April 1993 saw Ellen serve as mission specialist aboard the STS-56 mission of the space shuttle Discovery, making her the first Hispanic woman to go to space. This monumental occasion was a testament to her hard work and determination.
Why she’s a techspiration to Claritas
Ellen shows us just what can be achieved through a combination of intelligence and diligence. She is a veteran of four space flights, logging more than 950 hours in space and is an inspiration for anyone in the field. Ellen’s awards include NASA's Exceptional Service Medal (1997), Outstanding Leadership Medal (1995) and Space Flight Medals (2002, 1999, 1994, 1993). Her technical assignments have included flight software and computer hardware development and robotics development, testing and training.
Once retired from spacecraft operations she became Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center – this made her only the second female director of the Center.
Our favourite quote
What everyone in the astronaut corps shares in common is not gender or ethnic background, but motivation, perseverance, and desire - the desire to participate in a voyage of discovery.