Sally Ride Sally Ride
(1951-)

Dr. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. Her first space mission was aboard the shuttle Challenger in 1983. During the flight, the crew was the first to deploy and retrieve a satellite in space using the shuttle's robot arm.

Ride's second mission into space was also aboard the Challenger, in 1984. She was training for a third flight aboard the Challenger but never made it because of the explosion that destroyed the space shuttle in January of 1986. Dr. Ride then served on the Presidential Commission investigating the Challenger accident.

Dr. Ride was born in Los Angeles in 1951. She attended Stanford University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1973. She went on to earn Masters of Science and doctorate degrees at Stanford in 1975 and 1978.

Dr. Ride has written a number of children's books: To Space and Back, describes her experiences in space and has received the Jefferson Award for Public Service and has twice been awarded the National Spaceflight Medal. Her latest books, Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of The Solar System and The Third Planet: Exploring The Earth From Space are currently in bookstores.

Dr. Ride is currently a physicist and a member of the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, where she teaches physics. Dr. Ride is a member of the President's Committee of Advisers on Science and Technology. She is the former Director of the California Space Science Institute, a research institute of the University of California.

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