photo of Loral O'Hara

Loral O'Hara

NASA Astronaut

Loral O’Hara was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. At the time of her selection in June 2017, O’Hara was a Research Engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where she spent eight years working on the engineering and operations of underwater vehicles such as the human-occupied research submersible Alvin and the remotely operated vehicle Jason. Her experience includes mechanical design and analysis, systems engineering, manned submersible testing and certification, and vehicle operations. She participated in eleven scientific research cruises aboard research vessels as a mechanical technician and data processor.

O’Hara worked as an intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2003, participated in the NASA Academy at Goddard Space Flight Center in 2004, and participated in the NASA KC-135 Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program in 2005.

From 2006 to 2007, she worked for Rocketplane in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as a project engineer on the development of a suborbital space vehicle.

The Texas native earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Kansas and a Master of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University.

She reported for duty in August 2017 and completed two years of training as an Astronaut Candidate. Starting in 2020, she served as the Astronaut Office’s Director of Operations in Star City, Russia for one year. O’Hara safely launched and docked to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz rocket on Sept. 15, 2023.

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Events featuring Loral O'Hara
Events featuring Loral O'Hara