77 Facts About Dr. Ellen Ochoa: Everything About The Astronaut

Aashita Dhingra
Jan 23, 2024 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Jan 26, 2022
Everything About The Astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

Ellen Ochoa was born on May 10 in the year 1958.

She was born in Los Angeles, California. Her parents were joseph Ochoa and Rossana Ochoa.

Her paternal grandparents were Mexican immigrants. In the year 1975, Ellen Ochoa graduated from Grossmont high school. She lived with her mothers and brothers after the divorce of her parents. In the year 1985, she received a doctorate from the Stanford Department of electrical engineering. She worked as a researcher in the NASA Ames research center and Sandia national laboratories. She applied for the NASA training program the same year and was selected in the year 1990. In 1993, she was the first Hispanic female astronaut aboard a nine-day mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery.

As the first Hispanic woman astronaut, Dr. Ellen Ochoa serves as an inspiration for many young women. Still, her life and career go far beyond being the first Hispanic woman in space! Continue reading for more facts about Dr. Ellen Ochoa.

If you like this article, make sure to check out Fun Fact articles: Astronaut facts and Astronaut John Glenn Biography.

Post-NASA Career

After her voyage in the space shuttle, she became the vice-chair of the national science board.

She currently chairs the committee evaluating nominations for the national medal of technology and innovation. She served as a crew member in four space shuttle missions. She helped in onboard scientific activities while serving as a flight engineer, assisting in the entry phases of the shuttle mission, and operating a robotic arm. She went as a crew member onboarding a space shuttle to discover the earth's ozone layer.

After her return from the mission, she became the deputy director of flight crew operations at JSC. Dr. Ellen Ochoa used her engineering skills such as computer and physics and supervised the remainder of NASA activities. Her last space expedition was in the year 2002. After that, she worked on the space exploration team. She overlooked flight crew operations. She guided the team and came up with agile and effective ways to advance human space exploration. She launched designs to promote inclusion and diversity.

Books By Dr. Ellen Ochoa

Julia Finley Mosca has written the story of Ellen Ochoa. It is called 'The Astronaut with a Song for the Stars: The Story of Dr. Ellen Ochoa.' Her management roles include Director of Flight Crew Operations and Deputy center, director for five years in Johnson Space Center in Houston. She told in her book that she learned how to get most of everyone and how to manage people on the team by being a deputy center director. Ellen also said that she always liked learning as a kid, and she was a good student as a kid. She said that being an astronaut helps her learn continuously throughout life. As a crew member on the ground, she learned the value of teamwork. She also became the 11th director of JSC.

She has also been featured in children's textbooks, apart from six schools being named after her. She gives speeches on how she handled workplace pressure and lessons as a director at NASA. She was leading a research group focusing on optical systems. This system detects defects in a repeating pattern. She was also the co-inventor on three patents for an optical object recognition method, a method for noise removal in images, and an optical inspection system.

Personal Life Of Dr. Ellen Ochoa

Ellen is married to Coe Miles, and they have two sons together.

Her husband is an intellectual property owner. She is also a classical flute player; she played for two years in the marching band at her university. In the university wind ensemble, she played for five years. On her first mission to space, she took a flute with her. Everyone thought she would pursue a music major, but she enrolled in a physics major. In Stanford Symphony Orchestra, she received the award of student soloist. She is a classical flutist. From Stanford University, she received a master of science in physics major and a doctorate. Afterward, she was also on the Stanford University board of trustees for ten years. Later she became the first Hispanic woman to be a part of space mission control in the international space station.

Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic female astronaut in the international space station.

Honors And Awards Received By Dr. Ellen Ochoa

There are three schools named in her honor; The Ellen Ochoa elementary school in Cudahy, CA, Animo Ellen Ochoa charter middle school in East Los Angeles, and the Ochoa middle school in Pasco, Washington.

Ellen Ochoa Prep Academy is located in California, and Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary School in Texas is named after her. NASA's Distinguished Service Medal in 2015, Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1995, Space Flight Medals in 2002, 1999, 1994, 1993, and Exceptional Service Medal 1997 were the awards she received. She and Michael Foale were announced in the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame. Now, she is a fellow of the National Academy of Investors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science,  and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In the cartoon show 'Ready Set Go!', in the year 2019, Astronaut Ellen Ochoa was presented as an animated version of Ellen Ochoa. She is the first Hispanic director of Johnson Space Center. She was also the second female director of JSC.

Early Life And Education Of Dr. Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa studied in el Cajon in Grossmont high school in the year 1975.

She had four siblings, and she was the third child of five children of her parents. Both of her parents did not have college degrees. Her parents divorced when she was in high school, and then she started living with her mother and brothers. Her grandparents from her father's side were immigrants. They first lived in Sonora in Mexico to Arizona, but they later moved to California.

In California, her father was born. Bachelor of the science of physics from San Diego state university. In the year 1980, she graduated phi beta kappa. It is the oldest academic honor that helps promote honorary students in the field of sciences and arts. In her time at San Diego University, she liked the subjects of engineering, math, and physics. But, ultimately, she chose to major in physics.

She represented Hispanic women in history and was an inspiration for the Hispanic American woman. She was selected in the year 1990 and completed her astronaut training in the year 1991. She has been mentioned in many books and textbooks and serves as an inspiration for every American woman. Many STEM education centers and schools are also named after her across the USA. She is known to give inspirational speeches to kids in school and narrate them about their school life and her education in Universities.

In the international space station, she and Daniel Bursch, astronaut, used the station's robotic arm to life truss out of Atlantis's payload bay. They then used the arm to attach it to the station. She was a passionate flutist and brought a flute as one of the things that she carried in her first shuttle flight as an astronaut.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 77 Facts About Dr. Ellen Ochoa: Everything About The Astronaut, then why not take a look at astronaut Jemison or space rocks?

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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