Sally Ride was born on May 26, 1951 in Encino, Los Angeles, California, USA as Sally Kristen Ride. She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle disasters, the only person to participate in both. During her life, Ride kept her personal life private. Sally K. Ride, America's first woman in space, announced yesterday that she plans to leave NASA to accept a fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Ride did not have to work hard for good grades, called herself an underachiever and refused to feign interest if she was bored in class. When one came aboard a space station, a male cosmonaut welcomed her by saying the kitchen and an apron were all ready for her. Interesting Facts about Sally Ride. [44] This was done in 2014 with the christening of the oceanographic research vessel RV Sally Ride (AGOR-28). [14] In 2003, she was asked to serve on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. When Sally Ride died in 2012, her obituary noted a new fact that was widely picked up: that she was survived by her partner, Tam O'Shaughnessy. Sally Ride died on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. [53], For their first match of March 2019, the women of the United States women's national soccer team each wore a jersey with the name of a woman they were honoring on the back; Tierna Davidson chose the name of Sally Ride. Billy Joel's 1989 song "We Didn't Start the Fire" mentions her. In 1999, Ride appeared as herself on the Touched By An Angel episode "Godspeed. Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died on Monday at her home in San Diego. Dr. Okie was her schoolmate, and wrote that she and Dr. Ride, both on scholarship, felt out of place among the actors’ daughters and “Bel Air belles” at the school. (She advised eating it fast, before it floated away.). Following her death on July 23, 2012 at the age of 61, she also is being remembered as a soft-spoken physicist who wanted to inspire young people to consider careers in technical fields. [3][35][36][37] Following cremation, her ashes were interred next to her father[38] at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica. The couple divorced in 1987. Three years later Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to go to space, died in the Challenger explosion. (Later, in graduate school, Dr. Ride was devastated to learn that Dr. Mommaerts had committed suicide. In a space agency filled with trailblazers, Sally K. Ride was a pioneer of a different sort. She played tennis for Stanford, became the team’s No. [27][28] O'Shaughnessy served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Sally Ride Science. Many of the people attending the launch wore T-shirts bearing the words "Ride, Sally Ride", lyrics from Wilson Pickett's song "Mustang Sally". She received bachelor’s degrees in physics and English in 1973 (her specialty was Shakespeare), a master’s degree in physics in 1975 and a Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1978, all from Stanford. Dr. Ride was known for guarding her privacy. She was 61. [49][50], In 2017, a Google Doodle honored her on International Women's Day. They divorced in 1987. Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel into space, died Monday at the age of 61, the Associated Press reported. Close Menu. Two elementary schools in the United States are named after her: Sally Ride Elementary School in The Woodlands, Texas, and Sally Ride Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland. July 23, 2012 — -- Sally Ride, the NASA astronaut who became the first American woman in space in 1983, has died after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, her office said today. When Sally Ride Took Her First Space Flight, Sexism Was the Norm. Sally Ride was married to astronaut Steven Hawley in 1982. “During college and graduate school,” Dr. Okie wrote, “I had to interrogate her to find out what was happening in her personal life.”. [39], On December 6, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Ride into the California Hall of Fame at the California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts.[40]. “It’s no secret that I’ve been reluctant to use my name for things,” she said. And when she applied to the space program, NASA had already made a commitment to admit women. [57] The song was later released as part of Hadfield's album Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can under the name Ride That Lightning. She was strong-willed and athletic, and became so obsessed with playing football in the street that her parents pushed her into tennis lessons because it was a safer sport. The Challenger commander, Robert L. Crippen, chose her for the 1983 mission in part because of her expertise with the device. July 23, 2012 Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died on Monday at her home in San Diego. Ride was eminently qualified for space flight. "Sally Ride was the first American woman to go into space and she was my big sister. In 2001 she started a company, Sally Ride Science, to “make science and engineering cool again,” as she put it, by providing science-oriented school programs, materials and teacher training. [51], The U.S. “And I can’t,” she said.). ... in which seven space shuttle crew members died. The Challenger had taken off on a cold morning. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. Ride died on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61, in her home in La Jolla, California,[34] seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In 1987, Dr. Ride led a study team that wrote a report advising NASA on the future direction of the space program. She was the only person to serve on both of the panels investigating Shuttle accidents (those for the Challenger accident and later the Columbia disaster). She was born in Los Angeles, California. She taught at summer tennis camps, and at one of them she met Billie Jean King, who urged her to quit college and become a professional tennis player. On “The Tonight Show,” Johnny Carson joked that the shuttle flight would be delayed because Dr. Ride had to find a purse to match her shoes. During a press conference, she was asked questions such as, "Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?" Sally Ride Dies . U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tam O'Shaughnessy, Sally Ride's life partner of 27 years, on behalf of Ride in November 2013. [22][23] She was a member of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee, an independent review requested by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on May 7, 2009. Ride was extremely private about her personal life. Sally died on July 23, 2012 after fighting a battle with pancreatic cancer. Ride worked for two years at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear optics and Thomson scattering. [30][31] She was the first known lesbian astronaut.[32][33]. Sally Ride hugged him publicly to show her support for his efforts. Sally Ride's death came after 17 months of battling pancreatic cancer. Although she was interested in science from a very young age, tennis was actually her first love. Her graduate work involved X-ray astronomy and free-electron lasers. She was an astronaut until 1987. At a NASA news conference, Dr. Ride said: “It’s too bad this is such a big deal. Both parents were elders in the Presbyterian Church. She was 61 years old and had lived in California. (Dr. O’Shaughnessy is chief operating officer of Dr. Ride’s company.). They decorated their master bedroom with a large photograph of astronauts on the moon. But the program was immediately suspended, and she retired the next year. Dr. Ride told interviewers that what drove her was not the desire to become famous or to make history as the first woman in space. The cause was pancreatic cancer, her company, Sally Ride Science, announced on its Web site. She received the National Space Society's von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award. Dr. Ride was finishing studies at Stanford University — she had degrees in physics and astrophysics (and also English) — and looking for a job when she saw NASA’s advertisement. She was soon playing in tournaments. “Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve.”. On June 18, 1983, NASA Astronaut Sally K. Ride became the first American woman in space, when she launched with her four crewmates aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-7. Although Ride … In photographs of her afloat in the spaceship, she was grinning, as if she had at long last reached the place she was meant to be. Ride showed great early promise as a tennis player, but she eventually gave up her It was only after her death that Ride disclosed to the world that she was a lesbian; in an obituary that she co-wrote, Ride revealed her 27-year relationship with partner Tam O’Shaughnessy. She joined NASA in 1978. After graduating from high school in 1968, Dr. Ride attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania but quit after three semesters. The team recommended an outpost on the Moon, though not a “race to Mars.” But Mars should still be the “ultimate objective,” the group said. [11], In 1987, Ride left her position in Washington, D.C., to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. [41][42] Also in December 2012, the Space Foundation bestowed upon Ride its highest honor, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. She learned to fly a jet plane. The Soviets had already sent two women into space. “The women’s movement had already paved the way, I think, for my coming,” she said. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut and physicist. Sally died peacefully on July 23rd after a courageous 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Postal Service issued a first-class postage stamp honoring Ride in 2018. In 1989, she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the California Space Institute. She was 61. When she was 32, … Years later, when a child asked her what made her decide to be a scientist instead of a tennis player, she laughed and said, “A bad forehand.”. Dr. Okie quoted Dr. Ride’s younger sister, the Rev. It was not until today, however — nearly 50 years after meeting — that their 27 … Dr. Ride, a physicist who was accepted into the space program in 1978 after she answered a newspaper ad for astronauts, flew on the shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983, and on a second mission in 1984. Ride's mother, who was of Norwegian descent, had worked as a volunteer counselor at a women's correctional facility. [3], Ride attended Portola Junior High (now Portola Middle School) and then Birmingham High School before graduating from the private Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles on a scholarship. On December 17, 2012, the two GRAIL probes, Ebb and Flow, were directed to complete their mission by crashing on an unnamed lunar mountain near the crater Goldschmidt. Ride and OShaughnessy were open about their relationship as partners and as bus… [46][47] In July 2013, Flying magazine ranked Ride at number 50 on their list of the "51 Heroes of Aviation". She had one sibling, Karen "Bear" Ride, who is a Presbyterian minister. She was on the roster for another shuttle flight before the Challenger blew up on Jan. 28, 1986, 73 seconds after taking off from Cape Canaveral. She was the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she co-founded in 2001 that creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on girls. Sally Ride died at her home in La Jolla, California. In 2003, Dr. Ride told The Times that stereotypes still persisted about girls and science and math — for example the idea that girls had less ability or interest in those subjects, or would be unpopular if they excelled in them. Sally passed away on July 23, 2012 at the age of 61 in La Jolla, California, U.S.. Sally's cause of death was pancreatic cancer. So why did the press ask about makeup and periods? She rejected most offers for product endorsements, memoirs and movies, and her reticence lasted to the end. [53] It was formerly named after Junípero Serra. [13] In 1999, she acted in the season 5 finale of Touched by an Angel, titled "Godspeed". Ride had completed eight months of training for her third flight (STS-61-M, a TDRS deployment mission) when the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred. Ride had been fighting pancreatic cancer for 17 months and died peacefully, her company Sally Ride Science announced today (July 23). Ride received numerous awards throughout her lifetime and after. ... Ride died in … Following the sad news today that Sally Ride, the first American women to fly in space, had died of cancer at the age of 61, President Obama released this statement: Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Sally Ride. She was 61. Sally Ride death quick facts: In 1983, writing in The Washington Post, Susan Okie, a journalist and longtime friend, described Dr. Ride as elusive and enigmatic, protective of her emotions. In order to be an astronaut and go into space, Sally Ride had to train for a year. Ride directed public outreach and educational programs for NASA's GRAIL mission, which sent twin satellites to map the moon's gravity. [3] In addition to being interested in science, she was a nationally ranked tennis player. Sally Ride Death. After his testimony, Dr. Ride, who was known to be reserved and reticent, publicly hugged him. She is known for her work on Some Assembly Required (2008), Space Age (1992) and Spaceflight (1985). Following the Challenger investigation, Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she led NASA's first strategic planning effort, authored a report titled "NASA Leadership and America's Future in Space" and founded NASA's Office of Exploration. I like the shuttle.”. Sally Ride is best known as the first American woman in space. At 32, she was also the youngest American in space. [8] After graduating training in 1979, becoming eligible to work as a mission specialist she served as the ground-based capsule communicator (CapCom) for the second and third Space Shuttle flights, and helped develop the Space Shuttle's "Canadarm" robot arm. A new photobiography details Sally Ride's childhood, her early struggles with stardom and the scientific zeal of America's first woman in space. She looked at the qualifications and said, “I’m one of those people,” she told The New York Times in 1982. [29] They wrote six acclaimed children's science books together. Astronaut Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, died today from pancreatic cancer at the age of 61, according to news reports. Ride attended Swarthmore College for three semesters, took physics courses at University of California, Los Angeles, and then entered Stanford University as a junior, graduating with a bachelor's degree in English and physics. Full Episode. She wrote six science books for children, including one that explained how to make a sandwich in space. The programs allowed middle school students to request images of the Earth[12] and Moon. Sally Ride communicating with ground controllers during the six-day space mission of the Challenger in 1983. [45], On May 20, 2013, a "National Tribute to Sally Ride" was held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and on that same day, President Barack Obama announced that Ride would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. When she was chosen to be an astronaut, the one person she wanted most to call was Dr. Mommaerts, she told Dr. Okie. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and astronaut. [19] Their relationship was revealed by the company and confirmed by her sister, who said she chose to keep her personal life private, including her sickness and treatments. On July 23, 2012, Ride died at the age of 61, following a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. All she wanted to do was fly, she said, to soar into space, float around weightless inside the shuttle, look out at the heavens and gaze back at Earth. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and was awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal twice. Editor's Note, July 23, 2012: Sally Ride died today at the age of 61 after a long battle with cancer. As the first American woman to travel into space, Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. As a member of the panel appointed by President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident, Ms. Ride gained a reputation for asking tough questions. ", In 2013, Janelle Monáe released a song called "Sally Ride". Her obituary made news for quietly mentioning that she was survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy. [48], In 2014, Ride was inducted into the Legacy Walk, an outdoor public display that celebrates LGBT history and people. It’s too bad our society isn’t further along.”. 1 women’s singles player and was nationally ranked. She practiced for several hours a day, and also began taking physics courses at the University of California, Los Angeles. Karen Scott, a Presbyterian minister, as saying, “ ‘Closeness’ is not a word that is often used to describe relationships in our family.” Dr. Ride always needed to be in control, her mother told Dr. Okie. [54], When she became the first American woman in space on the Space Shuttle Challenger, many in the crowd attending the launch wore T-shirts printed, "Ride, Sally Ride," a play on the lyric of the 1965 song, Mustang Sally.[55]. She was named to the Rogers Commission (the presidential commission investigating the Challenger disaster) and headed its subcommittee on operations. Did she plan to have children? [56], Also in 2013, astronauts Chris Hadfield and Catherine Coleman performed a song called "Ride On". American Woman Who Shattered Space Ceiling. Ride was born on May 26, 1951. [18], Ride wrote or co-wrote seven books[19] on space aimed at children, with the goal of encouraging children to study science.[20][21]. But there were still rough spots. [7], Ride was selected to be an astronaut as part of NASA Astronaut Group 8, in 1978, the first class to select women. From the mid-1990s until her death, Ride led two public-outreach programs for NASA—the ISS EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM projects, in cooperation with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UCSD. At Cape Canaveral, many in the crowd of 250,000 that watched the launching wore T-shirts that said, “Ride, Sally Ride” — from the lyrics of the song “Mustang Sally.”, The next day, Gloria Steinem, editor of Ms. magazine at the time, said, “Millions of little girls are going to sit by their television sets and see they can be astronauts, heroes, explorers and scientists.”, When the shuttle landed, Dr. Ride told reporters, “I’m sure it was the most fun that I’ll ever have in my life.”. Her second space flight was STS-41-G in 1984, also on board Challenger. NASA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Ride … The CBS News reporter Diane Sawyer asked her to demonstrate a newly installed privacy curtain around the shuttle’s toilet. Dr. Ride attended Westlake School for Girls, a prep school in Los Angeles. The cause was pancreatic cancer, … She was 61. SPAS-1 was successfully deployed, underwent experiments, then recollected and brought back to Earth. A handwritten letter led Sally Ride to become the first American woman in space. In the report, Dr. Ride wrote that a lunar outpost would combine “adventure, science, technology and perhaps the seeds of enterprise.” She also noted darkly that the United States had “lost leadership” to the Soviet Union in a number of aspects of space exploration. NASA Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, died on Monday of pancreatic cancer. [58], Ride's space flight is a central event in the 2016 novel Our Lady of the Inferno. and "Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?" 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