Fireside Charla with SDSU President Adela de la Torre


April 16, 2020

#016 - Former Astronaut and SDSU Alumna Ellen Ochoa Shares Her Story

Episode Summary:

For this Bonus Episode of Fireside Charla, we share an encore presentation of former astronaut and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa, who inspired our campus during our President’s Lecture series. She shared her life’s journey, from physics classes at San Diego State University to four Space Shuttle trips into orbit. Enjoy!

Approximate running time: 01:13:14
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Transcript available

“It’s just amazing to be chosen for an Honorary Degree by my Alma Mater and when I certainly couldn’t have imagined when I was a student here.” –Ellen Ochoa

“I was contacted by NASA actually to come interview at the Johnson Space Center, so that was my very first opportunity to be at any NASA center and particularly the one where human space flight took place. Had the chance to talk to astronauts for the first time, to really find out more about what the career was like because really you know what you see on the news but you don’t really have a good idea of what it’s like.” –Ellen Ochoa

About Dr. Adela de la Torre

Dr. Adela de la Torre joined San Diego State University in June 2018, as the first woman and Latina president. She brings 30 years of service and leadership roles within institutions of higher education and shares these experiences with open arms. She has two daughters who are both married, a grandson, a husband, and three dogs! Adela discusses the challenges she faced in college, her mentors, her heart-led leadership style, and her vision to help all types of students at SDSU feel confident in their goals. 

About Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa is a distinguished San Diego State University alumna and veteran NASA astronaut, the first Hispanic woman to go to space is the former director of the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas.

Ochoa joined NASA in 1988 as a research engineer at Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. She moved to JSC in 1990 as an astronaut candidate. After completing training, she served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, conducting atmospheric studies to better understand the effect of solar activity on the Earth’s climate and environment. She logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit and participated in four space flights, including the first docking mission with the International Space Station.



Episode references and bonus reading:
SDSU Yearbook: Former Astronaut and SDSU Alumna Ellen Ochoa Captivates Campus