Friday, May 26, 2017
Sally Ride, first U.S. female astronaut, born 1951
Sally Ride, born May 26, 1951, was the first American woman and first known gay astronaut in space. Her first mission was in June 1983 on STS-7, aboard Space Shuttle Challenger, the seventh flight of NASA's space shuttle program and the second for Challenger.
She returned to space in October 1984 on Challenger again, STS-41-G, the first mission to carry two women (Kathryn Sullivan) and the first EVA for a woman (Sullivan).
Ride was scheduled to go back to space on Challenger in 1986, STS-61-M, but the Challenger disaster in January 1986 cancelled that mission among many others. Ride was selected as part of the panel to investigate the Challenger explosion.
She passed away July 23, 2012 of pancreatic cancer, survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy.