Loral O'Hara


Loral O'Hara
Loral O'Hara portrait.jpg
Loral Ashley O'Hara

(1983-05-03) May 3, 1983 (age 38)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Kansas (BS)
Purdue University (MS)
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Current occupation
Research engineer
SelectionNASA Group 22

Loral Ashley O'Hara (born May 3, 1983) is an American engineer and NASA astronaut.

Early life and education

Loral Ashley O'Hara was born on May 3, 1983, in Houston, Texas to Cindy and Steve O'Hara. She grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, where she attended Clements High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Kansas in 2005, and a Master of Science in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University in 2009. While she was a student, O'Hara participated in the KC-135 Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program.[1][2]

Engineering career

Prior to completing her Master of Science degree, O'Hara worked for Rocketplane Limited in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 2009, O'Hara began working at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She has participated in upgrades to the submersible DSV Alvin, and has worked as an engineer and data processor for the remotively-operated vehicle Jason.[1]

NASA career

O'Hara has previously participated in the NASA Academy at Goddard Space Flight Center, and completed an internship at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In June 2017, she was selected as an astronaut candidate, and began training in August.[1][3] On Jan. 10, 2020, O’Hara graduated from NASA's astronaut candidate program to its astronaut corps, and is now eligible for spaceflight.

Personal life

O'Hara is a private pilot, certified emergency medical technician, and a wilderness first responder. She enjoys traveling, whitewater rafting, surfing, diving, flying, sailing, skiing, hiking, caving, reading, and painting.[1]

Awards and honors

In 2008, O'Hara was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.[4] In 2015, she was an invited speaker at TEDx New Bedford.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Garcia, Mark (February 7, 2018). "Astronaut Loral O'Hara". NASA. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "Loral Ashley O'Hara". Biographies of U.S. Astronauts. Spacefacts. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. ^ Harwood, William (June 7, 2017). "NASA introduces 12 new astronauts". CBS News. CBS Broadcasting. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  4. ^ "National Science Foundation Fellowship Program". National Science Foundation. September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  5. ^ TEDx Talks (2 December 2015). "From Space to Seafloor: The Joy is in the Journey - Loral O'Hara - TEDxNewBedford". Retrieved 11 April 2018 – via YouTube.