First Person: First Latina In Space To Be Inducted Into US Astronaut Hall of Fame
Monday, May 8, 2017
First Person: First Latina In Space To Be Inducted Into U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
Ellen Ochoa, director, NASA Johnson Space Center
When Ellen Ochoa was growing up in La Mesa in the 60’s, a career in space exploration did not cross her mind.
“At that time there weren’t women astronauts, they weren’t allowed to apply. And actually you saw very few women at all working at NASA. So, it’s something that at that time I never thought about growing up and doing,” she said.
It was not until she was in graduate school that her interest in joining NASA’s astronaut program grew.
In 1993, Ochoa became the first Latina to travel to space. She was part of a 90-day space mission to study the Earth’s atmosphere aboard the space shuttle Discovery. As an astronaut, Ochoa has flown on four space missions, logging almost 1,000 hours in orbit.
This month, Ochoa will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
As part of our First Person series, Ochoa, who now serves as the first woman director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and is a classical flautist, talks about her passion for space exploration.
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