HOUSTON — Ellen Ochoa, a former astronaut who has been deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center since late 2007, will become director of the 14,100-person field center as of Jan. 1, the agency’s administrator, Charles Bolden, announced Nov. 16. She succeeds Mike Coats, 66, as the 51-year-old installation’s 11th director and the first Hispanic to serve in the post. Both stressed the desire for a smooth transition for JSC, the Houston facility that serves as the global operations ...

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