Dr. Sally K. Ride on the middeck of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Her shirt features a cartoon of 35 busy astronauts around a shuttle with the acronym TFNG, which stands for thirty five new guys, a nickname for the 1978 astronaut class.
Credit: NASA

Remembering Sally Ride

History was made 30 years ago when Dr. Sally Kristen Ride became the first American woman in space. Dr. Ride was selected out of 8,000 candidates to be an astronaut by NASA in January 1978. She served as mission specialist aboard STS-7 Challenger, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, (KSC) Florida, on June 18, 1983. She also flew as mission specialist on the 13th shuttle flight, STS 41-G Challenger, launched from KSC on October 5, 1984. A scheduled third flight aboard Challenger was terminated after the Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. She served as a member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, and also worked thereafter to help plan NASA's long-term exploration goals. She was an inspiration to generations of young people and an enthusiastic proponent of the use of space for education and public outreach. Dr. Ride passed away on July 23, 2012, and her memory will be honored by posthumous award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this year, becoming only the ninth astronaut to receive the Medal. Dr. Ride was the third woman to fly in space, following cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, and Svetlana Savitskaya, whose ground-breaking flights occurred in 1963 and 1982, respectively.
Published: May 27, 2013

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Sunday, 02-Jun-2013 22:45:21 EDT