Born on May 26, 1951 and the first American woman to fly in space, Sally Ride was the founder of Sally Ride Science and the Sally Ride Science Festivals. She was an astronaut who loved to run, play tennis, volleyball and softball. The woman wrote many science books for kids that were about space exploration, Earth and the solar system. 

Today, on her 64th birthday, Google is celebrating the day by posting an animation on its homepage. 

Early Life of Sally Ride

Ride was born in Los Angeles, Calif and she attended Stanford University in California after high school and earned Bachelor’s Master’s and Doctorate degree in Physics. 

Sally Ride’s journey to become an astronaut

In 1977, Sally Ride applied to be an astronaut and was the first woman to have been invited to apply to the astronaut program. She followed up her passion after she saw an advertisement that NASA was looking for women astronauts during her college days. At a young age, she became one of the six women to be selected to the astronaut corps in 1978.

Her struggle as an astronaut

Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space on June 18, 1983 and enjoyed being a mission specialist on the STS-7 space shuttle mission; someone who does the allocated tasks of a mission that include using the robotic arm, going on spacewalks and doing science experiments. During her journey, Ride worked the robotic arm to assist in releasing satellites into space. In 1984, Ride once again flew on the space shuttle on the STS 41-G mission.

Her life after quitting NASA

After she retired from NASA in 1987, Sally Ride became a professor at the University of California San Diego. Apart from this, the passionate astronaut hunted for ways to support women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She then came up with the idea for NASA’s EarthKAM project that allows middle students select, shoot, download and study photos of Earth with the help of a camera on the International Space Station.

The American physicist was inducted to the Astronaut Hall of Fame that honors astronauts for their accomplishments in spaceflight in 2003.

In 2012, Ride was awarded the National Space Grant Distinguished Service Award. She continued to help students especially girls to study science and mathematics until her death on July 23, 2012. After retiring from NASA, Sally Ride was also actively involved in science programs and festivals around the United States.

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