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Who Was Sally Ride?
July 24, 2012
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Sally Ride was the first American woman to fly in space. For fun, she liked to run. She also played tennis, volleyball and softball. Ride wrote science books for children. The books are about exploring space.

What Was Sally Ride's Early Life Like?
Sally Ride was born May 26, 1951, in California. After high school, she went to Stanford University in California. She earned degrees in physics. Physics is a type of science.

How Did Sally Ride Become an Astronaut?
NASA began looking for women astronauts in 1977. Sally Ride was a student at the time. She saw an ad in the school newspaper inviting women to apply to the astronaut program. Sally Ride decided to apply for the job. She was one of six women picked!

What Did Sally Ride Do as an Astronaut?
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space. She was an astronaut on a space shuttle mission. Her job was to work the robotic arm. She used the arm to help put satellites into space. She flew on the space shuttle again in 1984.
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What Did Sally Ride Do After She Left NASA?
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 - especially girls -study science and mathematics. She wrote science books and other things for students and teachers. She worked with science programs and festivals around the United States.
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More About Sally Ride:
› Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space Photo Gallery
› Video: Sally Ride 25 Years Later   →
› Sally Ride EarthKAM   →


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Heather R. Smith/NASA Educational Technology Services

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Sally Ride’s official astronaut portrait
Sally Ride was in the first group of astronauts to include women.
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NASA
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Ride floating on the flight deck of the space shuttle
Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on the STS-7 space shuttle mission.
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NASA
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Sally Ride started Sally Ride Science to encourage girls to be interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
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NASA
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Sally Ride sitting at a desk
Sally Ride started Sally Ride Science to encourage girls to be interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
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NASA
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Page Last Updated: September 4th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator