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Ride, Sally Kristen
Credit: www.spacefacts.de
American physicist mission specialist astronaut 1978-1987. Physicist, first American woman in space. Was married to astronaut Steven Alan Hawley.

Status: Deceased; Active 1978-1987. Born: 1951-05-26. Died: 2012-07-23. Spaceflights: 2 . Total time in space: 14.32 days. Birth Place: Los Angeles, California.

Ride was the leading feminist among the first group of American astronauts to include women. She pasted a bumper sticker to the front of her desk: "A woman's place is in the cockpit". Ride was a great tennis player who achieved national ranking. She was unmarried at the time of her astronaut selection; but would later marry and divorce astronaut Steve Hawley.

Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Sally K. Ride (Ph.D.)

PERSONAL DATA: Born May 26, 1951, in Los Angeles, California. Died on July 23, 2012. She is survived by Tam O'Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years; her mother, Joyce Ride; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin and her nephew, Whitney. Her father, Dale B. Ride, is deceased. She enjoyed tennis (having been an instructor and having achieved national ranking as a junior), running, volleyball, softball and stamp collecting.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Westlake High School, Los Angeles, California, in 1968; received from Stanford University a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1973 and a Master of Science and Doctorate in Physics in 1975 and 1978, respectively.

EXPERIENCE: Dr. Ride was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, she completed a one-year training and evaluation period, making her eligible for assignment as a Mission Specialist on future space shuttle flight crews. She subsequently performed as an on-orbit Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) on the STS-2 and STS-3 missions.

Dr. Ride was a Mission Specialist on STS-7, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983. She was accompanied by Captain Robert L. Crippen (spacecraft commander), Captain Frederick H. Hauck (pilot), and fellow Mission Specialists, Colonel John M. Fabian and Dr. Norman E. Thagard. This was the second flight for the orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a five-person crew. During the mission, the STS-7 crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK C-2) and Indonesia (PALAPA B-1); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01); conducted the first formation flying of the orbiter with a free-flying satellite (SPAS-01); carried and operated the first U.S./German cooperative materials science payload (OSTA-2) and operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments, in addition to activating seven Getaway Specials. Mission duration was 147 hours before landing on a lakebed runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1983.

Dr. Ride served as a Mission Specialist on STS 41-G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on October 5, 1984. This was the largest crew to fly to date and included Captain Robert L. Crippen (spacecraft commander), Captain Jon A. McBride (pilot), fellow Mission Specialists, Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan and Commander David C. Leestma, as well as two payloads specialists, Commander Marc Garneau and Paul Scully-Power. Their eight-day mission deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of the Earth with the OSTS-3 pallet and Large Format Camera and as demonstrated potential satellite refueling with a spacewalk and associated hydrazine transfer. Mission duration was 197 hours and concluded with a landing at Kennedy Space Center on October 13, 1984.

In June 1985, Dr. Ride was assigned to the crew of STS 61-M. Mission training was terminated in January 1986 following the space shuttle Challenger accident. Dr. Ride served as a member of the Presidential Commission investigating the accident. Upon completion of the investigation, she was assigned to NASA Headquarters as Special Assistant to the Administrator for long-range and strategic planning.

In 1989, Dr. Ride joined the faculty at the University of California San Diego as a Professor of Physics and Director of the University of California's California Space Institute. In 2001, she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science to pursue her long-time passion of motivating girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math and technology. The company creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students and their parents and teachers.

A long-time advocate for improved science education, Dr. Ride has written five science books for children: To Space and Back; Voyager; The Third Planet; The Mystery of Mars and Exploring Our Solar System. She has also initiated and directed education projects designed to fuel middle school students' fascination with science.

Dr. Ride was a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology and the National Research Council's Space Studies Board and has served on the boards of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Foundation. Dr. Ride is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and served on the boards of the Aerospace Corporation and the California Institute of Technology. She is the only person to have served on the commissions investigating both the space shuttle Challenger and Columbia accidents.

Dr. Ride received numerous honors and awards. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and has received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle and the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award. She has also twice been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal.

JULY 2012

This is the only version available from NASA.

Official Biography

BIRTHDATE AND PLACE: Born May 26, 1951, in Encino, California. Daughter of Dale Burdell Ride, a political science professor at Santa Monica Community College, and Joyce Hoyce Ride, a counselor at a women's correctional institution. Attended West Lake School for Girls and she rated eighteenth nationally on the junior tennis circuit.

EDUCATION: Began college career at Swarthmore College. Received Bachelor of science in physics; bachelor of arts in English; master of science and doctorate of philosophy in physics from Stanford University.

EXPERIENCE: Ride was selected straight from graduate school for the first group of shuttle astronauts. She became the first American woman to fly in space on shuttle mission STS-7 in 1983 and flew again on STS 41-G. Ride was preparing for her third mission when the Challenger exploded in 1986. She was appointed to the Presidential Commission charged with investigating the accident. In 1986, she moved to NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she became Assistant to the NASA Administrator for Long-Range Planning. Ride created NASA's "Office of Exploration" and produced a report on the future of the space program, "Leadership and America's Future in Space". Ride retired from NASA in 1987 to become a Science Fellow at the Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University. After two years, she was named Director of the California Space Institute and Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego.

PERSONAL: Ride married NASA astronaut Alan Hawley in July of 1982. They had no children and were divorced in 1987.


Departed Date: 1987-08-15. Degree: PhD. Marital Status: Divorced. Education: Swarthmore;Stanford.

More at: Ride.

Family: Astronaut. Country: USA. Flights: STS-7, STS-41-G, STS-61-M. Projects: STS. Bibliography: 4457, 5937.
Photo Gallery

Mission Specialist (MS) Ride sleeps in airlock
Credit: NASA

1951 May 26 - .
1978 January 16 - .
1983 June 18 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
1983 June 24 - .
1984 October 5 - . 11:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
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1986 July - .
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