“When I was a little girl I always dreamed of flying in space, and unbelievably — I still can’t believe it to this day — that dream came true. Now it’s up to all of us to inspire and to assist the next generation of girls and young women to reach for the stars and achieve their dreams, too.” – Sally Ride
Who says brains aren’t sexy? Sally Ride, in 1983, after five years of working for NASA, became the first American woman and youngest American to explore outer space. She completed two space flights, and accumulated more than 343 hours in space. Ride bears several degrees including a Bachelors in both English and Physics, a Masters in Physics, and also a PhD in Physics.
Dr. Ride is evidently multi-facetted, once pursuing a career in tennis until fully exploring her passion for the sciences. In 1986, when the Challenger, her mother board, the ship in which she experienced her two first and only shuttle missions, exploded, she was the only working astronaut appointed to take part in the investigation. 1987 marks the year she and NASA parted ways; Ride moved on to teach physics at Stanford and then, at the University of California. However, she also put her mastery of the English language to good use and wrote several books, directed mainly towards the youth.
The fact that there aren’t many women in the science field evidently did not escape our brainiac; as of 2001, she became founder, president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, an organization which develops educational programs and products to help encourage and inspire girls and young women to pursue their interests in science, math and technology.
Ride received many accolades for her exploits such as the Meridian and the Jefferson Award, and the U.S Department of labor minted two gold medallions bling-blinging with her name. She also earned a spot both in the National Woman’s Hall of fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center.
Now 57 years old, Ride has not yet fallen from grace, and is continuing to change the mind of naysayers who believe a woman has no place in this field. Women of all ages are bombarded with images of one type of feminity, be it through magazines, television and billboards, which is why women such as Dr. Sally Ride are simply out of this world! Pun most definitly intended.
- R.I.P. Dr. Sally Ride 1951 – 2012
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- My Two Cents: Science, It’s A Girl Thing!
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