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Sally Ride

Sally Kristen Ride was born on May 26, 1951, in Los Angeles, California. As a girl, Ride was a nationally ranked junior tennis player. At Stanford University, Ride earned four degrees - a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, a Masters degree in Physics, and a Ph.D. in Physics.

Dr. Ride was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January of 1978. She served as an on-orbit capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for the STS-2 and STS-3 missions.

On June 18, 1983, Dr. Ride became America's first female in space as a mission specialist on STS-7, the second flight of the Challenger and the first shuttle mission with a 5-person crew.

Dr. Ride second shuttle flight was a mission specialist on STS 41-G which was launched on October 5, 1984.

After the Challenger accident in January, 1986, Dr. Ride served as a member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. Upon completion of the investigation she was assigned to NASA Headquarters as Special Assistant to the Administrator for long range and strategic planning.

Dr. Ride left NASA in 1987 to join the faculty of Stanford University.


  • Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on June 18, 1983.

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