Sally Ride Facts

Sally Ride Facts
Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 to July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and astronaut. She flew on the space shuttle Challenger twice. She was the only person to have served on the both of the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.
Interesting Sally Ride Facts:
Sally Kristen Ride was the older of two daughters and was born in Los Angeles, California.
She attended Westlake School for Girls on a tennis scholarship and was ranked in the top 20 in the junior tennis.
She attended Swarthmore College but dropped out during her freshman year to pursue a career in professional tennis.
After a few months she decided to return to college and enrolled in Stanford University.
In 1973 she earned a bachelor's degree in both English and physics from Stanford.
In 1978 she received a PhD in physics.
In 1977 she answered a NASA ad in the student newspaper looking for applicants to the astronaut program.
In January of 1978 she was selected and began a rigorous one year training program.
On June 18, 1983 she became the first American woman in space, though two Soviet women had been in space previously.
She was 32 years old at the time of her first flight and America's youngest astronaut.
She was a mission specialist and used the robot arm to retrieve a satellite and conducted pharmaceutical experiments.
At the conclusion of her second trip aboard the space shuttle Challenger, she had spent a total of 343 hours in space.
She was in training for her third flight when the Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986.
Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters where she led NASA's strategic planning team and founded NASA's Office of Exploration.
In 1987 she accepted a position with the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.
In 1989 she became professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego where she researched non-linear optics.
She led the joint education effort by the University and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory called ISS EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM.
In 2001 she founded Sally Ride Science, a company which made entertaining programs designed to interest middle school students in science.
She wrote children's books on space: To Space and Back, Voyager, The Third Planet, The Mystery of Mars and Exploring our Solar System.
She was a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology and the National Research Council's Space Studies Board.
She received the von Braun Award, the Jefferson Award for Public Service, and the Theodore Roosevelt Award.


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