Sally K Ride

//Sally K Ride

Sally K Ride

Inducted in 2021

Sally Ride was the first American woman to fly in space.


Sally Ride was born May 26, 1951, in California. After high school, she went to Stanford University in California. She earned degrees in physics. NASA began looking for women astronauts in 1977. Sally Ride decided to apply for the job and she was one of six women picked.

Dr. Ride was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, she completed a one-year training and evaluation period, making her eligible for assignment as a Mission Specialist on future space shuttle flight crews. She subsequently performed as an on-orbit Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) on the STS-2 and STS-3 missions.

Dr Ride was a Mission Specialist on STS-7 in 1983 and STS-41-G in 1984. On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space. Sally’s second shuttle flight made history as the first space mission with two female crew members. When Challenger blasted off for STS-41G on Oct. 5, 1984, Sally was joined by Kathryn Sullivan.

Ride stopped working for NASA in 1987. She started teaching at the University of California in San Diego. She started looking for ways to help women and girls who wanted to study science and mathematics. She came up with the idea for NASA’s EarthKAM project. EarthKAM lets middle school students take pictures of Earth using a camera on the International Space Station. Students then study the pictures.

In 2003, Ride was added to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. The Astronaut Hall of Fame honors astronauts for their hard work.

Until her death on July 23, 2012, Ride continued to help students. A long-time advocate for improved science education, Dr. Ride has written five science books for children. She worked with science programs and festivals around the United States.