On This Day

June 18, 1983

Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space


On This Day

‘I wasn’t really scared. I was very excited, and I was very anxious. When you’re getting ready to launch into space, you’re sitting on a big explosion waiting to happen.”

Sally Ride on her journey into space (and the history books) 37 years ago: "The stars don't look bigger, but they do look brighter."
On This Day


  • Born in 1951 in Los Angeles.
  • Earned bachelor’s, master’s & Ph.D. in physics from Stanford.
  • At 32, she became the first U.S. woman (and youngest American) in space.
  • Founded the Sally Ride Science company in 2001 to encourage girls to pursue careers in math & science.
  • Astronaut Hall of Fame (2003).
  • Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013).
On This Day

“When I was a little girl, I dreamed of flying in space. Amazingly enough, and I still can’t believe it, that dream came true. And through hard work and a good education, all of you will reach for the stars and that dream will come true for you.”

Sally Ride at the 2002 Sally Ride Science Club's Boston Science Festival
On This Day


  • NASA: 65 women in space.
  • Ride became the third woman in space; 20 years prior (1963) a Soviet cosmonaut became the first, while another became the second in 1982.
  • Two American astronauts made space history last October in the first spacewalk by an all-woman team.
  • One of the astronauts from all-woman team, Christina Koch, spent 329 days – the longest spaceflight by a woman.
On This Day

Ride spent the final years of her life advocating for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for girls and young women.

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Thorough interview with Sally Ride: CLICK HERE

NASA on recent women astronauts: CLICK HERE