Ride in 1984
|Born||Sally Kristen Ride
May 26, 1951
Encino, California, U.S.
|Died||July 23, 2012
La Jolla, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Pancreatic cancer|
(m. 1982–1987; divorced)
(1985–2012; Ride's death)
|Relatives||Karen "Bear" Ride (sister)|
|Time in space||14d 07h 46m|
|Selection||1978 NASA Group|
|Retirement||August 15, 1987|
Sally Kristen Ride (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 left NASA in 1987 to work at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control and had served on the investigation panels for two space shuttle disasters (Challenger and Columbia)—the only person to serve on both. She founded a company, Sally Ride Science, in 2001. She co-authored five children's science books with her life partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy, as well as another dozen or so space-related titles. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to be launched into space.
The elder child of Dale Burdell Ride and Carol Joyce (née Anderson), Sally was born in Encino, California, a district of the city of Los Angeles. She had one sibling, Karen "Bear" Ride, who is a Presbyterian minister. Both parents were elders in the Presbyterian Church. Ride's mother had worked as a volunteer counselor at a women's correctional facility. Her father had been a political science professor at Santa Monica College.
She attended Portola Junior High (now Portola Middle School), and then Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles (now Harvard-Westlake School) on a scholarship. 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.
Ride was one of 8,000 people to answer an advertisement in a newspaper seeking applicants for the space program. As a result, she joined NASA in 1978. During her 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.
Prior to her first space flight, she was subject to media attention due to her gender. During a press conference, she was asked questions like "Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?" and "Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?" Despite this and the historical significance of the mission, Ride insisted that she saw herself in only one way—as an astronaut. On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7. She was preceded by two Soviet women, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982. The five-person crew of the STS-7 mission deployed two communications satellites and conducted pharmaceutical experiments. Ride was the first woman to use the robot arm in space and the first to use the arm to retrieve a satellite.
Her second space flight was in 1984, also on board the Challenger. She spent a total of more than 343 hours in space. Ride, who had completed eight months of training for her third flight (STS-61-M, a TDRS deployment mission) when the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred, was named to the Rogers Commission (the presidential commission investigating the accident) and headed its subcommittee on operations. Following the investigation, Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters in Washington, DC, where she led NASA's first strategic planning effort, authored a report entitled "NASA Leadership and America's Future in Space", and founded NASA's Office of Exploration.
In 1987, Ride left her position in Washington, D.C., to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. In 1989, she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of the California Space Institute. During the mid-1990s until her death, Ride led the public outreach efforts of the ISS EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM projects in cooperation with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UCSD, which permitted middle school students to study imagery of the Earth and moon. In 2003, she was asked to serve on the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She was the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she co-founded in 2001 that creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on girls.
According to Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of the technical problems that led to the Challenger accident, Ride was the only public figure to show support for him when he went public with his pre-disaster warnings (after the entire workforce of Morton-Thiokol shunned him). Sally Ride hugged him publicly to show her support for his efforts.
Ride endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008. She was a member of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee, an independent review requested by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on May 7, 2009.
Ride died on July 23, 2012, at age 61, seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Following cremation, her ashes were interred next to her father at Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, California.
After death, her obituary revealed that Ride's partner of 27 years was Tam O'Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University and childhood friend, who met Ride when both were aspiring tennis players. O'Shaughnessy became a science teacher and writer and, later, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Ride's company, Sally Ride Science. She co-authored five books with Ride. Their relationship was revealed by the company and confirmed by Ride's sister who also stated that Ride chose to keep her personal life private, including her sickness and treatments. Ride is the first known LGBT astronaut. 
Awards and honors
Ride received numerous awards, including the National Space Society's von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and was awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal twice. Ride was the only person to serve on both of the panels investigating shuttle accidents (those for the Challenger accident and the Columbia disaster). Two elementary schools in the United States are named after her: Sally K. Ride Elementary School in The Woodlands, Texas, and Sally K. Ride Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland.
On December 6, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Ride into the California Hall of Fame, at the California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts.
On December 17, 2012, the two GRAIL probes, 'Ebb' and 'Flow', were directed to complete their mission by impacting on an unnamed mountain near the crater Goldschmidt. NASA announced that they would be naming the landing site in honor of Sally Ride, who was a collaborator on the mission.
- Ride, Sally. Single Room, Earth View (expository essay). Sally Ride.
- Ride, Sally; Okie, Susan (1989). To Space and Back. New York: HarperTrophy. pp. 96 pages. ISBN 0-688-09112-1.
- Ride, Sally; O'Shaughnessy, Tam E.; (1999). The Mystery of Mars. [New York]: Crown. pp. 48 pages. ISBN 0-517-70971-6.
- Ride, Sally; O'Shaughnessy, Tam E. (2003). Exploring our Solar System. New York: Crown Publishers. pp. 112 pages. ISBN 0-375-81204-0.
- Ride, Sally; O'Shaughnessy, Tam E. (2004). The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth from Space. Sally Ride Science. pp. 48 pages. ISBN 0-9753920-0-X.
- Sally Ride Science (2004). What Do You Want to Be? Explore Space Sciences. Sally Ride Science. pp. 32 pages. ISBN 0-9753920-1-8.
- Ride, Sally (2005). Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System. Sally Ride Science. pp. 40 pages. ISBN 0-9753920-5-0.
- Ride, Sally; Mike Goldsmith (2005). Space (Kingfisher Voyages). London: Kingfisher. pp. 60 pages. ISBN 0-7534-5910-8.
- Ride, Sally; Tam O'Shaughnessy (2009). Mission planet Earth: our world and its climate—and how humans are changing them. New York: Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press. p. 80. ISBN 1-59643-310-8.
- Ride, Sally; Tam O'Shaughnessy (2009). Mission—save the planet: things you can do to help fight global warming. New York: Roaring Brook Press. p. 64. ISBN 1-59643-379-5.
- Morrison, Patt (July 24, 2012). "Sally Ride's spaceflight was one giant leap for womankind". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Grady, Denise (July 23, 2012). "Obituary: American Woman Who Shattered Space Ceiling". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- See Rogers Commission Report and Columbia Accident Investigation Board
- "About us". Sally Ride Science. Retrieved 2013-3-22.
- "Books". Sally Ride Science. Retrieved 2012-12-26. Mission: Planet Earth is two books, making the total five.
- "Sally Ride: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26. Amazon book search yields 37 titles. After filtering out non-authorship and multiple editions, about 17 are left.
- "Kennedy Space Center FAQ". NASA/Kennedy Space Center External Relations and Business Development Directorate. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- NASA (2006). "Sally K. Ride, Ph.D Biography". NASA. Retrieved October 4, 2007.
- NASA. "Dr. Sally Ride". NASA. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
- A Ride in Space – NASA, Sally Ride
- "EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students)". Sally Ride Science. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- "GRAIL MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students)". Sally Ride Science. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- Dan Majors (September 26, 2007). "Sally Ride touts science careers for women". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
- Kenneth Kesner (2007). "Sally Ride Festival geared for girls". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
- Roger Boisjoly, 73, Dies; Warned of Shuttle Danger, Douglas Martin, NY Times, February 3, 2012
- "Sally Ride Science Brings Cutting-Edge Science to the Classroom with New Content Rich Classroom Sets" (Press release). Sally Ride Science. September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
- Allison M. Heinrichs (2007). "Sally Ride encourages girls to engineer careers". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
- "Sally Ride endorses Obama". 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- "Sally Ride, the first US woman in space, dies aged 61". BBC News Online. July 23, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Sally Ride, first American woman in space, dies". CNN. July 24, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- William Harwood (July 23, 2012). "Sally Ride, first American woman in space, dies at 61". CNET. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Barrier-Breaking Astronaut Interred at Santa Monica▓s Woodlawn Cemetery
- "Sally Kristen Ride (1951–2012)". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Guy D. Garcia; David E. Thigpen (8 June 1987). "People: June 8, 1987". Time. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Abdill, Rich (July 23, 2012). "Sally Ride Revealed to Be Gay: Her Sister, on Ride's Life, Death, and Desires for Privacy". The New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "Sally Ride, First American Woman In Space, Revealed To Have Female Partner Of 27 Years". The Huffington Post. July 23, 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Adams Sheets, Connor (July 23, 2012). "Tam O'Shaughnessy: About Sally Ride's Partner Of 27 Years". The International Business Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Giorgis, Cyndi; Johnson, Nancy J. (March 1, 2009). "Talking with Sally Ride and Tam O'Shaughnessy". American Library Association. Sally Ride Science. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Denise Grady (23 July 2012). "Sally Ride, Trailblazing Astronaut, Dies at 61". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Tam O'Shaughnessy biography on the Sally Ride Science website. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Joe Garofoli (25 July 2012). "Sally Ride never hid, was 'just private'". San Francisco Chronicle: SFGate. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- The California Museum (2006). "Sally Ride". The California Museum. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- NASA's Grail Lunar Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride Dec. 17, 2012
- Moon Probes' Crash Site Named After Sally Ride | Space.com
- Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride Are 2013 General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award Honorees | Space Foundation
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sally Ride|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Sally Ride|
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Sally Ride at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Sally Ride in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Sally Ride collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Obituary in The Independent
- NASA biography
- Sally Ride Science Festivals
- Sally Ride Girls Science Camps
- Sally Ride Science company website
- USA Today Q&A
- Sally Ride on The California Museum's California Legacy Trails
- Sally Ride at Find a Grave