Sally Ride 1951-2012

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by Kryan39
Last updated 7 years ago

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Sally Ride 1951-2012

What kind of impact do you think Sally Ride makes on not only young girls, but young boys as well?

Sally Ride was born in Los Angeles, California. In addition to being interest in science throughout adolescence, Ride was a nationally ranked tennis player. Ride earned a bachelor’s degree in both English and physics at Stanford University, where she later earned her Ph.D. in physics.

"If we want scientists and engineers in the future, we should be cultivating the girls as much as the boys."

Majors, D. (2007). "Sally Ride touts science careers for women". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Morrison, P. (2012). "Sally Ride's spaceflight was one giant leap for womankind". Los Angeles Times. Sherr, L (2014). Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space. Simon ' Schuster

"I never went into physics of the astronaut corps to become a role model. But, after my first flight, it became clear to me that I was one. And I began to understand the importance of that to people. Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing these jobs someday. You can't be what you can't see."

Sally Ride1951-2012by: Kelly Ryan

Sally Ride was also an accomplished Physicist. After two successful voyages on the Challenger, she left NASA to become a professor at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, then the University of California, San Diego. Ride mainly researched non-linear optics and Thomson scattering, the elastic scattering of electromagnetic radiation by a free charged particle.

America's First Woman in Outer Space

Life Before NASA

Sally Ride joined NASA in 1978 where she served as a ground-bases capsule communicator and helped develop the space shuttle’s robot arm. Five year’s later on June 18, 1983; Sally Ride became not only the first American woman in space, but also to this day, the youngest American in space at the age of 32.

Accomplished Physicist

Awards and Honors

National Space Society’s Von Braun AwardThe Lindbergh EagleNCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt AwardNational Women’s Hall of FameAstronaut Hall of Fame NASA Space Flight MedalSamuel S. Beard AwardGeneral James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement AwardPresidential Medal of Freedom


When the public was told that Sally Ride would travel to outer space, many people disapproved with NASA. During a press conference, she was publicly asked certain questions such as “Do you cry when things go wrong while you’re at work?” and “Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?”. Ride responded to this negative attention in the best way possible – defining herself not as a woman, but as an astronaut.

America's First Woman in Outer Space

Sally Ride couldn’t recall any prominent women in the field of science. This is what motivated her to create Sally Ride Science, a foundation to inspire young people, especially girls, to become interested in STEM. Ride always felt young girls needed role models to look up to, so they wouldn’t be discouraged to follow their dreams in entering predominately male fields.


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