The astronaut and physicist was well known for motivating young people (girls especially) to become interested in science and mathematics.
While we approach the 3rd year since her death, Google released a doodle to honour the pioneer in their own special way, in commemoration of what would have been her 64th birthday.
Sally ride made history on June 18 1983 when she became the first American woman in space.
Ride was born in LA on May 26th 1951, and grew up to pursue a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. While finishing her studies, (1977) she applied to join NASA and was among one of six women selected to be astronaut candidates.
Ride became the first American woman in space at the age of 32, while she was on board the Challenger space shuttle. She also made a return trip into orbit the following year, aboard the same vessel.
Tam O’Shaughnessy, Ride’s partner wrote in a blog post that while in space, Ride “realized how important it is for all of us to take care of our fragile home in space, and became an environmentalist.” And can we blame her? Our orbit is almost as full of garbage as most any major highway in North America
Following her second trip aboard the Challenger shuttle, she left NASA and became the director of the California Space Institute and professor of physics at the University of California at San Diego, It was in these fields that she witnessed first hand how young women were being put off from pursuing careers in science and math, and worked tirelessly to inspire young people, (a bulk of these being girls and minority students) to keep their interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.
O’Shaughnessy claims that Ride said, “Everywhere I go I meet girls and boys who want to be astronauts and explore space, or they love the ocean and want to be oceanographers, or they love animals and want to be zoologists, or they love designing things and want to be engineers. I want to see those same stars in their eyes in 10 years and know they are on their way!”
In 2001, the dynamic duo founded Sally Ride Science, a company that created programs and study guides geared towards making science interesting and fun for young people. Which I assume went over well with teachers, I know how hard it can be to get young people interested in math
On top of her company, she also continued her work with NASA by leading public-outreach programs for the agency’s GRAIL mission, which involved shooting satellites to map the moon’s gravity. Neat!
As well as serving on the two investigations into the Challenger disaster in 1986, and the Columbia disaster in 2003.
Throughout her life, Ride won –if anything, she earned them- many awards including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. “As the first American woman in space, Sally did not just break the stratospheric glass ceiling, she blasted through it,” Said President Obama. I wonder if that quote was original or not, because I might need to hire whoever wrote that because that was HILARIOUS.
Ride died from pancreatic cancer on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61.