Who was Sally Ride?
Sally Ride was born in 1951 in Los Angeles, California. After high school, she attended Stanford University in California. She earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in physic.
Sally Ride applied to be an astronaut in 1977. It was the first time that women were invited to apply to the astronaut program. Ride was a college student and saw an advertisement that NASA was looking for women astronauts. She was one of six women selected to the astronaut corps in 1978.
She was the first american women to travel into space in 1983. She was in the Challenger three times. She was a mission specialist on the STS-7 space shuttle mission. A mission specialist does the assigned tasks of a mission. These tasks include using the robotic arm, going on spacewalks and doing science experiments.
Sally Ride retired from NASA in 1987. She became a professor at the University of California San Diego. She also looked for new ways to encourage women and girls to study science and mathematics. She came up with the idea for NASA’s EarthKAM project which let middle school students select, shoot, download and study photos of Earth using a camera on the International Space Station.
In 2003, Sally Ride was inducted to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. The Astronaut Hall of Fame honors astronauts for their accomplishments in spaceflight. She was awarded the 2012 National Space Grant Distinguished Service Award.
Sally Ride on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61, seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she died.