“Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars,” she says. “I believe a good education can take you anywhere on Earth and beyond.”
Ellen Ochoa was born in 1958 in Los Angeles, California but grew up in La Mesa, California. Throughout her youth, she devoted herself to music as well as math and science.
She was eleven-years old when astronauts walked on the moon for the first time. “At that time, there weren’t any women astronauts, and also very few who were scientists,” she says.
She never thought to become an astronaut when she was in school. However, she decided to apply to the NASA to become an astronaut when she earned her Ph. D. on Electrical Engineering (1985). There were 2000 applications for the position. She got it.
In 1991, NASA accepted her into its astronaut training program, and in July 1991, Ochoa became an U.S. astronaut. In April 17, 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to travel in the space.