Sally Ride: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sally Kristen Ride
NASA Astronaut
Status Retired
Born May 26, 1951 (1951-05-26) (age 58)
Encino, Los Angeles, California
Other occupation Physicist
Time in space 14d 07h 46m
Selection 1978 NASA Group
Missions STS-7, STS-41-G
Mission insignia Sts-7-patch.png STS-41-G patch.png
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.


Early life

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.[1][2]

NASA career

Sally Ride on Challenger's mid-deck during STS-7.

Ride was one of 8,000 people to answer an advertisement in a newspaper seeking applicants for the space program.[3] 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.[2] 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.[1] 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.[2] She was named to the Presidential Commission investigating the accident, and headed its subcommittee on Operations.[2] 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.[1] Ride married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley in 1982, but the two divorced in 1987.[4]

After NASA

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.[5][6][7]

Ride has written or co-written five books on space, aimed at children with the goal of encouraging children to study science.[2][8][9]

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.

Awards and honors

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).[2] 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.[1]

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.[10]

See also

Valentina Tereshkova


  • Ride, Sally. Single Room, Earth View (expository essay). Sally Ride. 
  • Ride, Sally; Okie, Susan (1989). To Space and Back. New York: HarperTrophy. pp. 96 pages. ISBN 0-688-09112-1. 
  • Ride, Sally; O'Shaughnessy, Tam E.; (1999). The Mystery of Mars. [New York]: Crown. pp. 48 pages. ISBN 0-517-70971-6. 
  • Ride, Sally; O'Shaughnessy, Tam E. (2003). Exploring our Solar System. New York: Crown Publishers. pp. 112 pages. ISBN 0-375-81204-0. 
  • Ride, Sally; O'Shaughnessy, Tam E. (2004). The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth from Space. Sally Ride Science. pp. 48 pages. ISBN 0-9753920-0-X. 
  • Sally Ride Science (2004). What Do You Want to Be? Explore Space Sciences. Sally Ride Science. pp. 32 pages. ISBN 0-9753920-1-8. 
  • Ride, Sally (2005). Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System. Sally Ride Science. pp. 40 pages. ISBN 0-9753920-5-0. 
  • Ride, Sally; Mike Goldsmith (2005). Space (Kingfisher Voyages). London: Kingfisher. pp. 60 pages. ISBN 0-7534-5910-8. 
  • Ride, Sally; Tam O'Shaughnessy (2008: Upcoming release). Climate Change: You Can Make A Difference. London: Roaring Brook Press. pp. 48 pages. ISBN 1596433795. 


  1. ^ a b c "Sally K. Ride, Ph.D. Biography". NASA. 2006. Retrieved October 4, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f NASA (1999). "Sally Ride". NASA. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  3. ^ NASA. "Dr. Sally Ride". NASA. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Time - People - Sally Ride". Time Magazine. June 8, 1987.,9171,964610,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  5. ^ Dan Majors (2007). "Sally Ride touts science careers for women". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  6. ^ Kenneth Kesner (2007). "Sally Ride Festival geared for girls". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  7. ^ Shirin Parsavand (2007). "Ex-astronaut looks to inspire children at Riverside event". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  8. ^ Business Wire - Live PR (2007). "Sally Ride Science Brings Cutting-Edge Science to the Classroom with New Content Rich Classroom Sets". Business Wire - Live PR. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  9. ^ Allison M. Heinrichs (2007). "Sally Ride encourages girls to engineer careers". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  10. ^ The California Museum (2006). "Sally Ride". The California Museum. Retrieved May 27, 2009. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Sally Kristen Ride (born May 26, 1951) is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut who, in 1983, became the first American woman and youngest American (at the time) to enter space.


  • When you're getting ready to launch into space, you're sitting on a big explosion waiting to happen.
    • Interview at Scholastic's Web site on November 20, 1998.
  • It's easy to sleep floating around - it's very comfortable. But you have to be careful that you don't float into somebody or something!
    • Interview at Scholastic's Web site on November 20, 1998.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (born May 26 1951 in Los Angeles, California) is an American former astronaut and astrophysicist who in 1983 became the first American woman to reach outer space.

With a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, she joined NASA in 1978, where she was an astronaut (19791987) 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.

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