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Astronaut Ellen Ochoa pays return visit to namesake school

LA School Report | August 23, 2016

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Dr. Ellen Ochoa is greeted by Local District East Superintendent Jose Huerta at her namesake school in Cudahy. (Courtesy: LAUSD)

By Samuel Gilstrap

Visiting her namesake school never gets old for Dr. Ellen Ochoa.

The former shuttle astronaut, who now heads NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, recently paid a visit to the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy, the fourth time she has returned since the 800-student school was named in her honor a decade ago.

“It’s fun to come back, and see what’s going on,” said Ochoa, the first Latina to be chosen as an astronaut. “There is a great staff, and I’m always impressed with their dedication. More importantly, it’s great talking to students.”

Ochoa spoke to students during two assemblies, sharing a video about her work as a mission specialist and flight engineer during four trips aboard the Discovery and Atlantic shuttles. She said her favorite part of being an astronaut were the spectacular views of Earth from the International Space Station. She also talked about her present-day duties overseeing the operation of the Space Station, a football-field size satellite that weighs nearly 1 million pounds and orbits 250 miles above the Earth.

Click here for the full story from LAUSD Daily.

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