KITTY HAWK, N.C. – April 16, 2021 – The First Flight Society announced today that Sally K Ride, has been named the 2021 Honoree to be inducted into the Dr. Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine located in the Museum and Visitors Center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, USA.
This honor is selected annually by a high-level panel appointed by the First Flight Society, from among numerous nominations submitted from around the world as well as compiled lists of qualified candidates. The Shrine is located within the Museum and Visitors Center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The induction ceremony will be held on Wright Brothers Day, December 17, 2021, with a celebration banquet held on December 16, 2021 in Kitty Hawk. A portrait of Sally Ride will be unveiled and presented at the ceremony on December 17th, 2021, celebrating the 118th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers First Flight.
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.
William Douglas, Chairman of the First Flight Society’s National Advisory Committee, served as Chair of the Dr. Paul E. Garber Shrine Selection Panel and managed the selection process.
Without the First Flight Society there would not be a Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association, later named First Flight Society, began as a group of local businessmen who successfully petitioned the US Congress to fund and build a monument to the Wright Brothers’ 1903 achievement.
The FFS plans an annual celebration at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17th mandated by their bylaws to memorialize the work of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC.
They created the Paul E Garber Shrine in 1966 to honor individuals and groups for achieving significant “firsts” in aviation development since 1903. (Charles Lindbergh, Tuskegee Airmen, Mary Feik, John Glenn, Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures) and most recently Colonel Gail “the Candy Bomber” Halvorsen among others.
First Flight Society promotes aviation education through an Aviation Education Committee to expand the knowledge of the Wright Brothers’ legacy by bringing aviation education programs to students in Dare County. They also offer an annual FFS Scholarship through Outer Banks Community Foundation for students pursuing aviation education in North Carolina.