STEM Is Literally The Passport To The Stars, Says Astronaut Hall Of Fame Inductee Ellen Ochoa By Regin Olimberio | May 10, 2017 08:14 AM EDT Soon-to-be a United States Astronaut Hall of Fame inductee Ellen Ochoa calls on the young generation to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Ochoa has literally reached the stars as she holds the distinction of being the first Latina in space aboard the SS Discovery. Currently, Ochoa holds the position as the director of the Johnson Space Center. Just two years after becoming an astronaut, Ochoa braved four different space missions and tallied a total of 978 hours of stay in space. Soon thereafter, she nailed a position as the main person for the Johnson Space Center. These stellar accomplishments continue to inspire the youth and Ochoa wants it to stay so. Based on the official NASA website, Ochoa has served with the Ames research center in California but moved to JSC after becoming a candidate astronaut. Her first mission is with the STS-56 in 1993 for a 9-day trip to study the effect of solar activity on Earth's environment and climate. Since then, she joined three other missions. Apart from becoming the first Latina to be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Ochoa is also the first Latina director of the JSC. She is a recipient of the highest award that NASA can grant, the Distinguished Service Medal. If the Presidential Distinguished Award and the five schools named after her will also be counted, then the world will know that Ochoa is in the forefront of exploring the universe for mankind, according to WeAreMitu. Meanwhile, Ochoa admits that it never crossed her mind that she will become an astronaut one day. Back in the 60's NASA was traditionally inhabited by men astronauts and employees. The reason is the prohibition against women who want to apply being an astronaut. However, there was a pivotal move by NASA to allow women astronauts in the 90's. During the period, Ochoa was in graduate school and developed an interest in the astronaut program.