The Ride of a Life Time

The person still has the record for being the youngest astronaut in space.

It was quite a Ride.

“Let’s Light This Candle”
Alan Shepard

A Sally Ride.

Sally Ride
In Memoriam

Sally Kristen Ride, Inventor Rational, (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978 and, at the age of 32, became the first American woman to enter into low Earth orbit in 1983. She is also the first known astronaut to have been in a long-term same-sex relationship. In 1987, she left NASA to work at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control. She served on the investigation panels for two space shuttle disasters, Challenger and Columbia, the only person to serve on both. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to be launched into space. [Wikipedia, revised]

She was the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science.  She got interested in science very early, and spent much of her life and effort to encouraging females to enter the field of science. Born in Encino, California and she spent her childhood there. As a young girl, Sally was fascinated by science.  Sally grew up playing with a chemistry set and a telescope.

In addition to being interested in science, she was a nationally ranked tennis player. Ride attended Swarthmore College for three semesters, took physics courses at UCLA, and then entered Stanford University as a junior, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and physics. At Stanford, she earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics, while doing research in astrophysics and free electron laser physics. [Wikipedia]

She saw an ad in the Stanford student newspaper saying that NASA was looking for astronauts. Up until then, astronauts had been military test pilots—and they all had been male. But now NASA was looking for scientists and engineers, and was allowing women to apply. Sally immediately sent in her application—along with 8,000 other people.

During her astronaut career, Ride served as the ground-based capsule communicator (CapCom) for the second and third Space Shuttle flights (STS-2 and STS-3) and helped develop the Space Shuttle’s robot arm. Ride was the first woman to use the robot arm in space and the first to use the arm to retrieve a satellite.

With their innovative, entrepreneurial spirit, Inventors are always on the lookout for a better way, always eyeing new projects, new enterprises, new processes. Always aiming to “build a better mousetrap.”  Inventors are keenly pragmatic, and often become expert at devising the most effective means to accomplish their ends. They are the most reluctant of all the types to do things in a particular manner just because that’s the way they have been done. As a result, they often bring fresh, new approaches to their work and play. They are intensely curious and continuously probe for possibilities, especially when trying to solve complex problems. Inventors are filled with ideas, but value ideas only when they make possible actions and objects. [Please Understand Me II]

In 2001 she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science, to pursue her long-time passion for motivating young girls and boys to stick with their interests in science and to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The company creates innovative classroom materials, classroom programs, and professional development training for teachers.

Even in elementary school and junior high, I was very interested in space and in the space program. —  Sally Ride

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