Sally Ride, 1951-2012

  • Sally-Ride-WWP

Woman Category: Academy & Education, Activism & Feminism, and Science & TechnologyWoman Tags: Astronaut, LGBTQ, Scientist, The Pioneering Women of the National Mall Neighborhood, and WDC Metro Area Women

  • HerStory

    The first American woman astronaut in Space.

    Sally Ride grew up in Los Angeles, CA, and from a young age, was attracted to science. In 1978 she finished her PhD in physics and astrophysics from Stanford University and came upon a NASA advertisement in the students’ newspaper. She applied for the space program and was chosen out of 8000 applications. In 1983 she completed her first mission in Space and became the first American woman in Space and the third woman in history to do so. She returned to space for the second mission in 1984.
    Ride left NASA to establish a career in the academic field. Her passion for space and longtime desire to encourage youngsters, especially girls, to study science and technology led her to initiate programs of education. In 1996 she initiated the EarthKam collaboration with NASA, enabling people to view, request and use pictures of earth and moon from space.
    In addition, she co-founded “Sally Ride Science”, an organization that promotes and educates teachers and students in STEM. She died from cancer in 2012.

    “If girls are interested, they have the potential to go further”

    “If girls are interested, they have the potential to go further”


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • In her early years, she started a professional tennis career, but after a short while thought she wasn’t good enough and quit.
    • She wrote five children’s books to introduce and fascinate them with science and space; she also published an autobiography telling the story of her travels to Space.
    • Ride is still the youngest person to visit in space (at the age of 32), and the first known LGBT astronaut (as revealed after her death).
  • More About Her Legacy
    Creations By and About Her:

    * Books she wrote
    * Books about her


    * National Space Society's von Braun Award
    * The Lindbergh Eagle
    * NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award
    * Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under
    * Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the
    Astronaut Hall of Fame
    * Awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal twice.

  • Watch and Learn More

  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Sally Ride - The First American Woman In Space | Mini Bio | BIO

    Watch a short biography of Sally Ride, who became the first American Woman in space as part of the Challenger shuttle mission on June 18, 1983. #Biography
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    Sally Ride - The First American Woman In Space | Mini Bio | BIO

  • Photo credit - WWP team.

  • Citations and Additional References:
    Sally Ride Science website.
    NASA website.
    Wikipedia page.