Dr. Sally K. Ride: First American Woman in Space

Sally K. Ride (May 26, 1951–July 23, 2012) became the first American woman in space in 1983. She was one of six women selected to enter the astronaut corps in 1978. While all six women flew on space shuttle missions, Ride was the first selected to go into space. As a mission specialist on the seventh space shuttle mission, she operated a variety of orbiter systems and experiment payloads. She participated in the launch of two commercial communications satellites and also operated the remote manipulator system arm to maneuver, release and retrieve a free-flying satellite.

Ride presented her in-flight suit to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in a ceremony shortly after the STS-7 mission. It can be seen on display in the National Air and Space Museum's Moving Beyond Earth exhibition.

Ride felt responsible for paving the way for women in space. Her performance and skill, alongside her four male crewmates, made her a symbol of equality.

Because of Her Story