Trivia Minute June 18, 2015

110: Ride Sally Ride

by Marcus Michelson
Sally Ride (NASA Photo via Wikimedia)
Sally Ride (NASA Photo via Wikimedia)

On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American female astronaut.

Here are a few facts you may not know about Sally Ride and other women in space.

One: Ride was born in 1951 in Los Angeles, raised there before attending college at Swarthmore, UCLA before earning a bachelor’s degree in English and Physics, and a master’s degree and PhD in physics from Stanford.

Two: She answered an ad in the Stanford Daily student newspaper and joined NASA in 1978. She served as capsule communicator for the second and third space shuttle missions before being selected as a crew member for the seventh mission.

Three: Ride flew into space twice, both times aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. Her last mission was in 1984. She was training for a third mission when the Challenger broke apart, killing all seven astronauts on board. Ride was a member of the commissions assigned to investigate both the 1986 Challenger disaster and the 2003 Columbia disaster. She retired from NASA in 1987 and became a professor at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Sally Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012.

Our question: Sally Ride was the third woman to travel to space. The first female in space was Valentina Tereshkova in 1963. The Soviets also sent the second woman into space. How may years after the first trip was the second trip?

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