NASA astronaut and director Ellen Ochoa awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Also honored was NASA's senior scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, astrophysicist Jane Rigby. – 

Ellen Ochoa, who later directed NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston

"For most, the American dream is to be successful in whatever endeavor you choose here on Earth.

Individuals chosen for the Presidential Medal of Freedom have significantly contributed to the prosperity

In 2013, Ochoa was named the 11th director of NASA's Johnson Space Center, home to mission control and the U.S. astronaut corps.

. Only the second woman to hold the position, Ochoa served for five years, during which she oversaw the selection of the first crews to launch on commercial spacecraft

In addition to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Ochoa has been recognized for her role in the U.S. space

Schools bear her name today in California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington.

Past recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom include the first American to orbit Earth

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