Womens Engineering Society: Inspiring women as engineers, scientists and technical leaders

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Sally Ride

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Dr Sally Ride

Awards: National Space Society's von Braun Award; Lindbergh Eagle; NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award.


Dr. Sally Kristen Ride was born in Los Angeles and studied at Stanford University. She joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman and the youngest American in space, in 1983 on the STS-7 mission. On the mission she was the first woman to use the robotic arm in space and the first to retrieve a satellite using a robotic arm. She was also a member of the STS-41-G mission where she completed her 343rd hour in space.


She received a bachelors degree in English and physics and later achieved a masters and PhD in physics at Stanford. She researched astrophysics along with the free electron laser whilst studying for her PhD at Stanford.

NASA Career

Ride joined NASA after answering an advertisement in a newspaper. She has served as a ground-based capsule communicator and helped to develop the space shuttles' robotic arm. In 1983 she became a crewmember on challenger. She later went on to a second mission and was preparing for a third when the space shuttle challenger accident occurred. She then became one of the investigators of the accident to the Presidential Commission.

Find out more about Sally Ride and her awards and achievements.

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