Ellen Ochoa was born on May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles, CA. She received her bachelor of science degree in physics from San Diego State University, and a master of science degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Ellen Ochoa’s pre-doctoral work at Stanford University in electrical engineering led to the development of an optical system designed to detect imperfections in repeating patterns. This invention patented in 1987, can be used for quality control in the manufacturing of various intricate parts. Dr. Ellen Ochoa later patented an optical system which can be used to robotically manufacture goods or in robotic guiding systems. In all, Ellen Ochoa has received three patents most recently one in 1990.
In addition to being an inventor, Dr. Ellen Ochoa is also a research scientist and astronaut for NASA. Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Ellen Ochoa is a veteran of three space flights. She has logged over 719 hours in space, her most recent mission was a 10 day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in May of 1999.
NASA bio: Ellen Ochoa, PhD, Director: Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center