Taking On Every Challenge

On May 26, 1951, astrophysicist Sally Ride was born. Selected to the first group of astronauts chosen for the space shuttle program, she was the first American woman in space.

Ride received training in many fields for her NASA service and executed several astronaut functions. She served as the communications officer for STS Columbia’s 2nd and 3rd flights. She was part of team that designed the remote mechanical arm, used by shuttle crews to deploy and retrieve satellites. As the first American woman in space, she served as mission specialist on STS-7. Again as a mission specialist, she flew on STS 41-G. At NASA Headquarters, Ride served as Special Assistant to the Administrator for long range and strategic planning.

Mission Specialist Sally Ride floats alongside the middeck airlock hatch during the STS-7 mission aboard Space Shuttle Challenger.

NASA photo of Mission Specialist Sally Ride floating alongside the middeck airlock hatch during the STS-7 mission aboard Space Shuttle Challenger.

Following her NASA career, Ride joined the faculty at University of California (San Diego) as a Professor of Physics and Director of the university’s Space Institute. At the same time, she pursued her long-time passion for motivating girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math and technology. She founded Sally Ride Science to create science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students and their parents and teachers.

 

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage

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