Image Source: Nasa.gov
There are many female faces that many of us may have forgotten or simply do not know at all. Some who have come and gone silently leaving their mark on the world and some that we recognise at an instance. Sally Ride was a phenomenal woman to say the least. A woman that stood for feminism and believed that anything was achievable. Most famously known for being the first woman in space when she flew on the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983. Ride also helped girls exceed in the fields of maths, science and engineering.
Born in Encino, Calif., on May 26, 1951, Sally Kristen Ride was the older of two daughters of Dale B. Ride and Carol Joyce (Anderson) Ride. Her father was a professor of political science and her mother was a counselor. While neither had a background in the physical sciences, she credited them with fostering her deep interest in science by encouraging her to explore.
An athletic youngster, Ride attended Westlake High School for Girls, a prep school in Los Angeles, on a partial tennis scholarship. She graduated in 1968. After a brief foray into professional tennis, she returned to California to attend Stanford University. There she received a bachelor of science degree in physics and a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1973. Furthering her studies at Stanford, she obtained a master of science degree in 1975 and a doctorate in physics in 1978, according to a Nasa biograghy of Ride.
What Was Sally Ride's Early Life Like? Sally Ride was born May 26, 1951, in California. After high school, she went to Stanford University in California. She earned degrees in physics. Physics is a type of science.
How Did Sally Ride Become an Astronaut? NASA began looking for women astronauts in 1977. Sally Ride was a student at the time. She saw an ad in the school newspaper inviting women to apply to the astronaut program. Sally Ride decided to apply for the job. She was one of six women picked!
What Did Sally Ride Do as an Astronaut? On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space. She was an astronaut on a space shuttle mission. Her job was to work the robotic arm. She used the arm to help put satellites into space. She flew on the space shuttle again in 1984.
Image Source: Nasa.gov
What Did Sally Ride Do After She Left NASA? Ride stopped working for NASA in 1987. She started teaching at the University of California in San Diego. She started looking for ways to help women and girls who wanted to study science and mathematics. She came up with the idea for NASA's EarthKAM project. EarthKAM lets middle school students take pictures of Earth using a camera on the International Space Station. Students then study the pictures. In 2003, Ride was added to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. The Astronaut Hall of Fame honors astronauts for their hard work. Until her death on July 23, 2012, Ride continued to help students - especially girls -study science and mathematics. She wrote science books and other things for students and teachers. She worked with science programs and festivals around the United States.
Ride proved that as women we are capable of anything and limitations are simply a false belief. Inspiring girls that their abilitites are endless, she shattered glass ceilings and became an iconic female warrior, one to credit, thank and to always remember. Sally Ride, we salute you.