Sally Kristen Ride was a physicist and an astronaut. In 1983, she became the first American woman in space.
Ride was born on May 26th, 1951 in Los Angeles, California. She died on July 23rd in La Jolla, California.
As a woman in the 1900’s, she broke several gender barriers. Throughout her lifetime, she ensured that girls and women were encouraged to do the same.
After graduating high school, she attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. During her sophomore year in college, she left to pursue a career in tennis. Later, she quit tennis and enrolled at Stanford University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1973. She continued her studies at Stanford, earning her Master of Science and doctorate in physics.
In 1977, she joined NASA. Sally Ride was one of the five women selected for NASA’s class of 1978.
In 1982, Ride was one of five crew members aboard space shuttle Challenger STS-7. She became not only the first American woman in space, but also the youngest American in space.
In 1984, Sally went on another shuttle mission. She spent eight days conducting scientific observations of the Earth.
Later, Ride served as the Director of the California Space Science Institute. She also worked as a physicist and physics professor at the University of California, San Diego. She also served as a member of the President’s Committee of Advisor on Science and Technology and worked on the Advisory Board of the National Women’s History Museum.
Sally Ride passed away in 2012 after a 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 61 years old when she died.
In 2013, President Obama honored Ride with a Presidential Medal of Freedom and it was accepted by Tam O’Shaughnessy, a childhood friend of Ride’s.
Sally Ride was one of the most inspiring women in American history. She is acknowledged not only as the first American woman in space, but also the first gay astronaut. She was extremely passionate about improving science education and helping young women and girls foster an interest in science. One of her projects was Imaginary Lines supports girls' interest in math, science and technology. She wrote seven children’s books. She and Tam O’Shaughnessy established a nonprofit organization that encourages all children to take interest in science.
Today her legacy teaches all of us that even the sky’s not the limit.
Until next time...
Stay Curious ;)