Ellen Ochoa, ex-KB5TZZ, Named 11th Director of Johnson Space Center
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, ex-KE4IQB, has named NASA Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, KB5TZZ, as the next Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. She will take over from Michael L. Coats when he retires at the end of the year.
Ochoa -- who was the first Hispanic woman to go into space -- has served as JSC Deputy Director since September 2007. She has served as Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations at JSC in December 2002 and Director of Flight Crew Operations in September 2006. She will be JSC’s 11th Director, its first Hispanic Director and its second female Director.
Ochoa first ventured into space in 1993 on a nine-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery on STS-56. She made three more trips into space: STS-66 in 1994, STS-96 in 1999, and STS-110 in 2002, logging a total of 978 hours in space. Prior to her astronaut career, Ochoa was a research engineer and inventor, with three patents for optical systems. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from San Diego State University and a master’s degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She managed the Intelligent Systems Technology Branch at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, before being selected as an astronaut in 1990.