Celebrate All Scientists: Dr. Ellen Ochoa

Celebrate All Scientists

As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, LSC celebrates astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa!

Joining NASA in 1988 as a research engineer, Ochoa was selected to be an astronaut two years later. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space, serving on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

Among the many amazing accomplishments in her career, Ochoa has been recognized with the Distinguished Service Medal—NASA’s highest award—and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for senior executives in the federal government. She served as the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center, becoming the JSC’s first Hispanic director and its second female director.

“I think that it's important for children to have a role model to see what they can grow up to be,” Ochoa said in an interview with Scholastic.com. “It's important they know that if they work hard, they can be and accomplish whatever they want. I am proud to be an example of that.”

To learn more about Dr. Ellen Ochoa, visit her NASA page. You can also follow her on Twitter at @astro_ellen.

Click here to learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month.


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