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Ellen Ochoa: 1958—: Astronaut Biography - Twice Valedictorian, Loved The View

space school shuttle background

Ellen Ochoa: 1958—: Astronaut.

Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina in space in 1993 when she served as the sole female crew member of Discovery space shuttle. By 1999, with three missions behind her, Ochoa had logged 720 hours of space time. An accomplished engineer and scientist who has served at Mission Control for other shuttle flights, the native Californian also likes to speak to school groups and young audiences about her work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Ochoa stresses that staying in school gives one many more career options, and though she herself had never considered becoming an astronaut as youngster, her educational background made it possible. "Getting to be an astronaut is tough for anybody," no matter what their background, she told Lydia Martin in a Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service article. "[I]t's just a matter of working hard to have a very good education."


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