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Hispanic and Latinx Scientists

Ellen Ochoa (b.1958)


Ellen Ochoa

Image credit: NASA / Public domain

Ellen Ochoa is an astronaut for NASA. She was born in Los Angeles in 1958. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Physics from San Diego State University, and earned both a Master and Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. 

While working with NASA, Ochoa co-invented three patents, authored multiple technical papers, and was selected to join the astronaut program in 1990. During her time as an astronaut, she flew on four space flights, and logged nearly 1000 hours in space. She was appointed Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in 2012, and retired in 2018.

Her legacy includes a number of schools named in her honor, and numerous awards  including HENAAC (Hispanic Engineer National Acheivement Awards) Engineer of the Year, the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, the California Hall of Fame and San Diego State University Alumna of the Year.