Women Who Rock: Ellen Ochoa

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

ELLEN OCHOA (1958- )
Born May 10, 1958, Ellen Ochoa is a student, researcher, inventor, electrical engineer and, of course, an astronaut. Her many talents and accomplishments make her an extraordinary woman and a positive role model to many. She’s best known for co-inventing an optical system for space exploration, as well as for her role as an astronaut. As an astronaut, Ochoa worked with computer hardware, robotics, flight software and more. She served many important roles at NASA, including being a member of the crew aboard the spacewalk mission that was the first to use the robotic arm, which she helped to control. Ochoa has received a great deal of awards and recognitions throughout her life, some of which include various NASA citations, the Harvard Foundation Science Award, the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and the Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award, among others.

The research conducted by Ellen Ochoa has contributed a great deal to aerospace science and technology. She is a role model not only to women young and old (like Punky Brewster!), but also to the Hispanic community. Two schools thought so highly of her that they have her been named in her honor: the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center (a pre-kindergarten school) and the Ellen Ochoa Middle School.

Further Reading:

  • National Atomic Museum
  • Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut
  • Ellen Ochoa: Reach For The Stars!