Dr. Ellen Ochoa



Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Ellen Ochoa

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, a veteran astronaut, is the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center. Prior to being named director in 2012, she served the center as deputy director for five years.

Ochoa is the center's first Hispanic director, and its second female director. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours in orbit.

Prior to her astronaut career, she was a research engineer and inventor, with three patents for optical systems.

She is honored to have four schools named for her: the Ellen Ochoa Middle School in Pasco, Washington; the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy, California; the Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary in Grand Prairie, Texas; and the Amino Ellen Ochoa Charter Middle School in Los Angeles, California.