This far-out image of the Sahara Desert was photographed from space via the Sally Ride EarthKAM, a camera aboard the International Space Station. The EarthKAM is programmed remotely by middle school students as part of an educational program established by Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space. Ride’s first trip to space was in 1983. On May 26, her birthday, we remember her legacy.
Lived: May 26, 1951 – Jul 23, 2012 (age 61)
Height: 5′ 5″ (1.65 m)
Partner: Tam O’Shaughnessy (1985 – 2012)
Spouse: Steven Hawley (m. 1982 – 1987)
Space agency: NASA
Education: Stanford University · Swarthmore College · Harvard-Westlake School · Gaspar De Portola Middle SchoolHighlights
- 1982: In 1982, she married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley.
- 1983: On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on space shuttle Challenger for STS-7.
- 1987: In 1987, Ride left her position in Washington, D.C., to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.
- 1989: In 1989, she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the California Space Institute.
- 2012: After Sally Ride’s death in 2012, General Donald Kutyna revealed that she had discreetly provided him with key information about O-rings (namely, that they become stiff at low temperatures) that eventually led to identification of the cause of the explosion.
- 2012: Ride died on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61, in her home in La Jolla, California, seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Ride on Challenger’s mid-deck during STS-7 in 1983
(1951) Trailblazing astronaut Sally Ride is born.
Also on this day,
1647 | American “witch” hanged
1897 | “Dracula” published
1975 | Knievel’s UK jump