History's Great Engineers: Ellen Ochoa by Lauren Jones

"One small step for man. One giant step for mankind." At the age of 11 Ellen Ochoa first saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. She never dreamed she herself would become an astronaut and, like Neil Armstrong, accomplish many things in her NASA career. Born in California Ellen Ochoa was the first female Hispanic to fly into space. Ellen received her Doctorate and Masters in electrical engineering at Stanford University. Then her life changed when she was invited to become an astronaut. In the year 1990 she began her astronaut career as a flight engineer. Since 1991 Ellen has logged more than 480 hours in space. Being a flight engineer she is responsible for the mechanical systems, fueling, and all the servicing of the craft. Besides being an astronaut she is a CO-inventor for an Optical Inspection System, a method for noise removal in space images. Out of the astronaut business Ellen is married with two kids and enjoys playing the flute. Among her other outstanding achievements she has also won The Outstanding Leadership Medal, Space Flight Medals, Exceptional Service Medal, and much more. With all these outstanding achievements and her ideas and actions involved with NASA I would nominate Ellen Ochoa for the Engineer Hall Of Fame. Who else would be better fit than this marvelous lady who has helped invent the optical inspection system, which could help tremendously with future space study, and being one of the most honored female engineers. Ellen said herself in quote, "I can only imagine the amazement and pride my grandparents would feel, having been born in Mexico in the 1870's, and knowing that there granddaughter grew up to travel in space." If I were Ellen Ochoa's grandparents I would feel a great deal of pride also knowing I brought this little girl into this country where she has done amazing and marvelous things for NASA and herself.