WoW Blog (Woman of the Week) Blog

WoW Blog (Woman of the Week)

Each week this blog will feature a prominent woman who made significant contributions to engineering or science. If you have any women you'd like us to feature please let us know and we'll do our best to include them.

Do you know of a great woman in engineering that should be recognized? Let us know! Submit a few paragraphs about that person and we'll add her to the blog. Please provide a citation for the material that you submit so that we can verify it. Please note - it has to be original material. We cannot publish copywritten material or bulk text taken from books or other sites (including Wikipedia).

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2 comments

Woman of the Week - Dr. Sally Ride

Posted July 17, 2007 10:52 AM by t-rex

Dr. Sally Kristen Ride was the first American woman in space. She was also an accomplished tennis player. Sally Ride attended high school on a tennis scholarship and, upon graduation, enrolled at Swarthmore College. She dropped out of college, however, to pursue a professional tennis career. Sally Ride practiced hard for three months, but eventually decided she was not good enough to be successful. Ultimately, she graduated from Stanford University with a BA in English and a BS in Physics in 1973. She continued studying Physics at Stanford and received her MS and PhD in 1975. Dr. Ride then applied to the astronaut program. In 1978, she was accepted from a field of more than 8,000 men and women who responded to a newspaper article. Of the 35 new astronauts, Sally Ride was one of six women accepted.

As part of her training, Sally Ride served as part of NASA's support crew in mission control for both the second and third space shuttle flights. She also flew in space twice, and was a member of the Challenger shuttle crew in 1983. During this mission, which was commanded by Captain Robert Crippen, the crew deployed communications satellites with the shuttle's robotic arm for the first time. Sally Ride flew again with Captain Crippen aboard the Challenger on the thirteenth space shuttle flight in 1983. In total, Dr. Ride accumulated more that 343 hours in space.

Sally Ride was assigned to a third shuttle flight that was canceled in January 1986 after the loss of the space shuttle Challenger. In the months following this accident, Dr. Ride served on the Presidential Commission which investigated the Challenger accident (and would later investigate the Columbia accident in 2003). Ride was then assigned to NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. as assistant to the NASA administrator for long-range planning. There, Sally Ride created the Office of Exploration and authored a report on the future of the U.S. space program called "Leadership and America's Future in Space."

After retiring from NASA in 1987, Sally Ride returned to her alma mater to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. She later became a Physics professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). When Dr. Ride wasn't teaching, she created her own company, Sally Ride Science, to pursue her passion: encouraging young women to pursue careers in science and technology. As further evidence of her mission to educate young people, Dr. Ride has written five science books for children, including To Space and Back.

Resources:

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/people/bios/women/sr.html

http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/whos_who_level2/ride.html

http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96may/ride.html

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/ride-sk.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Ride

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Power-User
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#1

Re: Woman of the Week - Dr. Sally Ride

07/17/2007 11:16 AM

...all this and I thought she was just some lady in a song that Billy Joel sang about!

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#2

Re: Woman of the Week - Dr. Sally Ride

07/17/2007 1:30 PM

I'm glad she dropped the tennis career way back when. NASA needed Sally Ride more than Wimbledon did!

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