The story of America’s first woman in space

Physicist Sally Ride made history in June 1983 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. When he died in July 2012, it was revealed that he was also the first gay astronaut in space.

In 1977, a young woman noticed an advertisement Stanford Daily NASA has announced that it is looking for female astronauts. Her name was Sally Ride, and five years later she became the first American woman in space.

A pioneer, the path to space ride was still wide with sexuality and suspicion. Journalists asked her if she would wear makeup in space, and joked about how late-night talk shows would delay launch by worrying about accessories. But Ride, for his part, only wanted to fly through the stars.

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NASA / Temporary Archives / Getty ImagesSally Ride, America’s first woman in space, on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983 while preparing for Diorbit.

She made history three times when she flew with the Shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983, the first American woman to go into space, the youngest American astronaut to go into space, and was released after her death in 2012, the first known lesbian. Astronaut to go into space.

NASA Path of Sally Ride

Born May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles, California, Sally Kristen Ride grew up in a supportive family with her parents and younger sister Karen. According to New York TimesRide enjoyed math and science from an early age and played street football so much that his parents signed him up for tennis, which they thought was safe.

In 1983, his father told Newsweek, “We let them develop normally.”

Bright and athletic, Ride attended the Westlake School for Girls on a scholarship and spent most of her leisure time playing tennis. Although Ride jokingly said that tennis tournaments were a good excuse to miss church, he became a nationally ranked amateur as a teenager and even encouraged tennis star Billy Jean King to become a professional.

Instead, Ride went to college. Joking that a “bad forehand” had ended his tennis career, Ride went to study at Sorthampton College in Pennsylvania before returning to Stanford, California. There, Sally Ride earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and English, a master’s degree in physics, and a doctorate. In astrophysics

“For some reason, I didn’t succumb to this stereotype that science isn’t for girls,” Ride said. USA Today in 2006. “I got encouragement from my parents. I have never met a teacher or mentor who told me that science is for boys. Many of my friends have.

While at Stanford, the ride rose fatally Stanford Daily One day in January 1977, when a first-page story caught his eye. NASA, as explained in the article, wanted to recruit female astronauts. After seeing what the space agency was looking for, Ride decided to drop his hat into the ring.

Another eight thousand women have applied. Of these, only six were selected, including Sally Ride.

Became the first American woman in space

The first American woman in space

Batman / Getty ImagesSally Ride became the first American woman in space and the youngest American to go into space. After his death, it was revealed that he was also the first gay astronaut to go into space.

After being selected as an astronaut candidate in January 1978, Sally Ride’s training began in earnest. In addition to learning skills such as skydiving and jet flying, he assisted in the development of the robotic arm of the shuttle and worked as a capsule communicator for the shuttle launch in 1981 and 1982.

The world has paid for his training. On April 30, 1982, NASA announced that Sally Ride would go into space as a space shuttle challenger mission expert.

“It was kind of like, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? We’re thrilled to have you on the crew, but we just want to make sure you know what you’re doing,'” Ride said. Today FloridaReported by Space. “And at that moment, of course, all I was thinking about was getting a chance to fly. So I said ‘yes-yes-yes’.

She will not be the first female astronaut in space – the USSR has already sent two women into space – but will be the first American to ride. And the American press faced a number of aggressive questions about its unprecedented role.

According to New York TimesRide was asked how she would cope with her period in space, whether she would wear makeup or a bra, whether she was worried that the spacecraft would affect her ability to conceive, and whether she would “cry” when she had problems.

“Why doesn’t anyone ask Rick [Navy Cmdr. Frederick H. Hauck, the pilot of the shuttle mission] These questions? At one point the ride was requested, accordingly Newsweek. And at a NASA press conference, he added: “It’s a shame it’s so bad. It’s sad that our society isn’t much better.

Challenger crew and first American woman in space

Batman / Getty ImagesChallenger Crew: Astronaut Robert L. Kripen, Frederick H, Hawke, Sally Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman E. Thagard.

While American society may not be ready, Sally Ride was. On June 18, 1983, he boarded the Challenger shuttle and flew into space.

“On the day of the launch, there was so much excitement and so much happening around us in the crew quarters, even on the way to the launch pad, which I didn’t really think. [being the first American woman astronaut] Until then, “Ride said in a 2008 interview.[B]But I realized how honorable it was to be the first to be chosen to go into space.

He and the others spent six days on earth. According to Nassal, the Challenger crew has deployed two satellites for Canada and Indonesia.

The mission was routine, but the role of Sally Ride was historic. She returned to Earth as the first American woman in space and the youngest NASA astronaut. And the ride, at just 32, had a lot more to achieve.

The next life and death of Sally Ride

Sally Ride and Barack Obama

Mandel NGAN / AFP via Getty ImagesBefore Sally Ride’s death, she met with President Barack Obama. He came here on September 16, 2010 after talking about the expansion of his Educate to Innovate initiative.

In the years of her historic flight, Sally Ride has been deeply involved with NASA. He returned to space in 1984 and planned to go there for a third time before the devastating Challenger exploded in 1986.

Since then, Ride has served on the Committee of Inquiry into the Accident, a role he repeated after the Columbia shuttle exploded during his re-entry in 2003.

“It’s important to realize that rockets are rockets, and rockets are always a risky technology, and that’s true for every type of rocket we or any other country has ever built,” he said. Los Angeles Times In 2003. “Rockets don’t work 100% of the time. They just don’t.

Before Sally Ride’s death, she spent her last years encouraging girls to study math and science. According to New York Times, She has written six science books for children and started the Sally Ride Science Institute “To Calm Science and Engineering Again.” Ride also offers NASA’s EarthKAM project, which allows young students to take pictures of Earth from space.

All the while, Ride has kept his personal life private. Until Sally Ride died on July 23, 2012 at the age of 61, the world knew two facts about her life. First, he had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for 17 months, and second, he had been with his partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, for 27 years.

“Sally never hid her relationship with Tam,” Ride’s sister Kate told CNB. “They were Sally Ride Science partners, business partners, they wrote books together and Sally’s very close friends must have known their love for each other. We consider Tam a member of our family.

The revelation means that Sally Ride was not only America’s first female astronaut, but also the first recognized gay astronaut.

Today, Sally Ride is seen as a woman who opened the door for others. To date, dozens of women have flown into space, and for the first time, the 2013 NASA class has split equally between men and women. As the feminist Gloria Steinme mentioned before Ride’s historic launch in 1983:

“Millions of little girls will sit next to their televisions to see if they can be astronauts, heroines, explorers and scientists.”


After this look at the life and death of Sally Ride, discover the Earth photos taken by astronaut Andre Kuipers. Next, learn about Polly Adler, one of the first female Mughals.

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