Name: Ellen Ochoa
Occupation: Director, Johnson Space Center
Hometown: La Mesa, Calif. (a suburb of San Diego)
Current home: Clear Lake
Family: Husband Coe Miles (an intellectual property attorney, engineer and chef), two teenage sons, and a strange-looking dog (American Hairless Terrier) named Sirius, after the dog star.
Recent book I’ve read: The Martian by Andy Weir. I appreciated his main character’s MacGyver-like approach to survival and his sense of humor, even after a year of eating nothing but potatoes. Plus, I definitely want to use pirate units in my next back-of-the-envelope calculation.
Someone I’d like to meet: J.J. Watt – I admire his combination of excellence and enjoyment of life. That 55-inch box jump video is amazing.
If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: Whichever astronaut is currently living on the International Space Station.
If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Mars (round trip, please).
My favorite space food is: Space S’mores – marshmallows and a chocolate bar stuck to a tortilla with peanut butter, rolled up and put in a food warmer. Out of this world!
As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: A cowboy; then I found out what it pays
I chose my career because: Are you kidding? What could possibly be a more awesome career than astronaut?
Advice I would give my younger, 8th grade self: In fact, girls will be allowed to be astronauts some day! (Then maybe I would have taken chemistry or physics in high school rather than waiting until college.)
I like my job because: I have the most talented team imaginable!