OTD Sally Ride

April 2, 2021

June 18, 1983

Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space

‘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."


  • 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).
“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


  • 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.

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

Thorough interview with Sally Ride: CLICK HERE

NASA on recent women astronauts: CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,