Sally Ride Day!

by / Thursday, 26 May 2011 / Published in Blog - Space Log


Today on the Space Log blog, we’re celebrating a special lady, Ms. Sally Ride, whose birthday it is. In 1983, she became the first American woman (and then youngest American) to go to space. Ride joined the NASA team in 1978 after answering a newspaper ad looking for space program applicants. She was one of 8,000 people to apply. During her career, Sally Ride spent a total of 343 hours in space, serving as a crew member on the Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7. During the STS-7 mission, she was the first woman to use the robot arm in space and also to use the arm in retrieving a satellite.

Sally Ride also worked in Washington, DC leading NASA’s first strategic planning efforts. She founded NASA’s Office of Exploration and wrote a report called “Leadership and America’s Future in Space.” While she was growing up, Sally Ride says she was always interested in science and wanted to learn more about how things work. She studied English and physics in college and conducted a lot of research on laser physics after that. Maybe you’re just a kid who likes science, but Sally Ride was a kid once too. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do similar work and maybe even go to space!

(image via Smithsonian blog, video via White House youtube channel)