|Sally Kristen Ride|
|Born||May 26, 1951
Encino, Los Angeles, California
|Time in space||14d 07h 46m|
|Selection||1978 NASA Group|
|Retirement||August 15, 1997|
Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (born May 26, 1951) from Los Angeles, California, is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut . She studied at Portola Middle School, Westlake School for Girls, Swarthmore College and Stanford University, and earned a master's degree and PhD. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983, became the first American woman, and then-youngest American, to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.
Ride was born in Encino, part of Los Angeles, California, the eldest child of Carol Joyce (née Anderson) and Dale Burdell Ride. Of Norwegian ancestry, Ride has a sister named Karen "Bearful" Ride, who is a Presbyterian minister. Ride attended Portola Middle School and Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles (now Harvard-Westlake School) on a scholarship. In addition to being interested in science she was a nationally ranked tennis player. She attended Swarthmore College and then transferred to Stanford University, receiving a bachelor's degree in English and physics. She earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in physics also at Stanford, while doing research in astrophysics and free electron laser physics.
Ride was one of 8,000 people to answer an advertisement in a newspaper seeking applicants for the space program. As a result, Ride joined NASA in 1978. During her career, Ride served as the ground-based Capsule Communicator (CapCom) for the second and third Space Shuttle flights (STS-2 and STS-3) and helped develop the Space Shuttle's robot arm. On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7. (She was preceded by two Soviet women, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982.) Her voice, however, was not the first female voice to be transmitted from an American spacecraft because during Skylab, a recording of Helen Garriott, wife of crewmember Owen Garriott, was transmitted down to Mission Control as a prank, pretending that she was actually onboard the spacecraft. On STS-7, during which the five-person crew deployed two communications satellites and conducted pharmaceutical experiments, Ride was the first woman to use the robot arm in space and the first to use the arm to retrieve a satellite. Her second space flight was in 1984, also on board the Challenger. She has cumulatively spent more than 343 hours in space. Ride had completed eight months of training for her third flight when the Space Shuttle Challenger accident occurred. She was named to the Presidential Commission investigating the accident, and headed its subcommittee on Operations. After the investigation, Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters in Washington, DC. There she led NASA's first strategic planning effort, authoring a report entitled "Leadership and America's Future in Space", and founded NASA's Office of Exploration. Ride married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley in 1982, but the two divorced in 1987.
In 1987, Ride left to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. In 1989, she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego and Director of the California Space Institute. In 2003, she was asked to serve on the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She is currently on leave from the university, and is the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she founded in 2001, that creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on girls.
Ride is currently a member of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee an independent review requested by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on May 7, 2009.
Ride has received numerous honors and awards, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award. She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and has twice been awarded the National Spaceflight Medal (or National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Space Flight Medal). Ride is the only person to serve on both of the panels investigating Shuttle accidents (those for the Challenger accident and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster). Two elementary schools in the United States are named after her: Sally K. Ride Elementary School in The Woodlands, Texas, and Sally K. Ride Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland.
On December 6, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Ride into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts.
With a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, she joined NASA in 1978, where she was an astronaut (1979–1987) and helped design the robot arm for the space shuttle. In turn, she was the first person to use the robot arm in space. In 1983, she became the first American woman in space. She also served (1986, 2003) on the commissions that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia disasters. In 1989, she became professor of physics and director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego. Sally started playing tennis at age 10, and became an excellent tennis player. She even went to college for it. She did attend another college, but dropped out because she wanted to keep working for a professional tennis career. After 3 months of hard practice she decided she was not good enough to make it to a professional career and so she quit tennis and enrolled at Stanford University. That year, more than 8,000 men and women applied to the NASA space program. Only 35 women were accepted. One of those 35 was Sally. There she enjoyed flight traing so much that it became a favorite hobby. Her second flight was a 8 day trip in 1984, again on Challenger(STS 41-G). Her hours in space flight were more than 343. Sally was preparing for her 3rd journey when the Challenger disintegrated in 1986. When training was suspended, she was appointed to the Presidential Commission charged with investigating the situation. Dr.Ride retired from NASA in 1987 to become a Science Fellow at the Center of International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University.