Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space Passes Away Monday
The first American woman in space, Sally Ride, passed away in her San Diego home on Monday.
Ride, a native of Los Angeles, graduated high school there in 1968 before enrolling in Stanford University. By 1978, she had earned four degrees, including a doctorate in physics.
in 1978, Ride was one of several women that were selected for the 1978 astronaut class. That selection was the first to take place in 10 years. It was also the first selection for space that included women.
Ride recalled, at a 2008 speaking event, of when she first heard of the NASA selection two months before she completed her doctorate. She said there, that she tore the ad from the newspaper she was reading in the University cafeteria one morning, checked the box for more information, and stuffed it in the mail.
The resulting acceptance into the astronaut program would lead to her placing her name in the history books in 1983, when she made history as the first American woman into space.
She would rocket into space another time for eight days in 1984, on shuttle mission STS-41G.
She was assigned to a third flight, but hads already transitioned on to the the Roger's commission for the investigation into the Challenger disaster.
Sally Ride would also sit on the Columbia Accident Investigation board in 2003. She was the only person to sit on both of these investigative boards.
Ride left NASA in 1987 and took a position at Stanford before moving on to the University of San Diego in 1989. She continued as a physics professor there until called to serve on the Columbia Accident Investigation board in 2003.
Sally Ride, was 61 when passed away from pancreatic cancer today.