Sally Ride - 1st U.S. Female Astronaut dies
Sally Kristen Ride,was born on May 26, 1951 in Encino, California. She died on July 23, 2012 in La Jolla, California after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 61. Her mother was Joyce Ride and her father Dale Ride.
She graduated from Westlake high school in 1968. She received her bachelor of science in Physics and bachelor of arts in English from Stanford University in 1973. In 1975 she acquired a master of science. In 1978, she received her doctorate degree in Physics.
On June 18, 1983 at 32 years old, she launched aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger as the first (and then youngest) female National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut. She joined the space agency in 1978 and left in 1987.
Sally Ride was a humble individual who focused 100% on fulfilling her role as an astronaut and ignored the media who developed stories based on her being the first U.S. woman in space. Believe it or not, Sally became an astronaut by winning out amongst 8,000 people who responded to an advertisement in a newspaper seeking applicants for the NASA space program.
She made a second flight aboard Challenger in 1984. She was set to do another flight, but it was canceled after the 1986 Challenger disaster. She served on the Presidential Commission investigating the accident.
Ride helped develop the shuttle's robotic arm.
In 1989, she became a Professor of Physics at UCSD and Director of the University of California’s California Space Institute.
In 2001, she founded Sally Ride Science to motivate girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math and technology.
Ride wrote five children’s science books.
Dr. Ride received a myriad of honors and awards included the NASA Space Flight Medal. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
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