Fun Facts About Sally Ride
Sally Ride was the first American woman to travel to space, and her life and career are full of interesting and inspiring fun facts.
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1951, Sally Ride received a bachelor’s degree in physics and a bachelor’s degree in English from Swarthmore College in 1973. She went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. In 1978, she was selected to be an astronaut candidate by NASA, and in 1983, she made history as the first American woman to travel to space aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
Ride’s journey to space was not an easy one. She faced many challenges and setbacks, including the death of her good friend and fellow astronaut, Christa McAuliffe, in the Challenger disaster in 1986. But Ride persevered, and in total, she made two trips to space and spent more than 343 hours in orbit.
In addition to her work as an astronaut, Ride was also an advocate for science education and worked to promote STEM fields to young people, particularly young girls. She co-wrote several science books for children and founded Sally Ride Science, a company dedicated to promoting science education and inspiring the next generation of scientists and explorers.
Ride was also a private person and did not often speak about her personal life. However, in her later years, she became an advocate for gay rights and was widely recognized as the first openly gay astronaut.
Ride’s contributions to the space program didn’t end with her time as an astronaut. After retiring from NASA in 1987, Ride served on the committees investigating the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters. She also served as a member of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology during the Clinton and Obama administrations.
In addition to her work in the space industry, Ride also served as a professor of physics and director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego. She taught courses on space physics and mentored many students, helping to inspire the next generation of space explorers.
Ride’s impact on the world of science and space exploration was recognized with numerous awards and accolades. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and the California Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by President Barack Obama.
One fun fact about Sally Ride is that she was a talented athlete. In addition to her academic and scientific pursuits, Ride was also a skilled tennis player and competed on the varsity team while she was a student at Swarthmore College.
Another fun fact about Sally Ride is that she was a fan of science fiction. In an interview with People Magazine in 1983, Ride mentioned that she enjoyed reading science fiction novels and watching Star Trek in her free time.
Ride’s love of science fiction may have helped inspire her to pursue a career in science and space exploration. She once said, “I think it’s important for young people to be exposed to the excitement and possibilities of science and technology. It’s a way of getting them interested and involved in the future.”
Ride’s love of science and space also extended to her personal life. She was married to fellow astronaut Steve Hawley, and the couple shared a passion for exploring the final frontier.
Sally Ride’s legacy lives on today through her work as an astronaut, scientist, and educator. She paved the way for other women to follow in her footsteps and made significant contributions to the world of space exploration. She will always be remembered as a pioneering and inspiring figure, and her fun facts will continue to be celebrated by generations to come.