Sally Ride was an astronaut and physicist. In 1983 she became the first American woman in space. Having made her first space flight at the age of 32 Ride became the youngest ever American astronaut. She flew into space for a second time aboard the Space Shuttle in 1984.
Sally Kristen Ride was born in Los Angeles, California on May 26th 1951. She graduated with a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 1978. In 1977 NASA began looking for women astronauts. Ride decided to apply and was one of six women chosen. Following a rigorous training programme she became the first American woman to travel into space in 1983. The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union in 1963.
The mission on the Space Shuttle Challenger travelled over two million miles. Two communication satellites were launched and several science experiments carried out. Ride helped to deploy the satellites. The mission lasted just over six days before landing safely at Edwards Air Force Base, California on June 24th 1983.
Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a crew member on space shuttle Challenger in the year 1983 On This Day.