5/26/1951 – 7/23/2012
First Flight: 6/18/1983
Last Flight: 10/5/1984
Sally Kristen Ride was an American astronaut, physicist, and engineer. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Ride was the third woman in space overall, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. She worked for two years at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear optics and Thomson scattering. She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, the only person to participate in both. Ride died of pancreatic cancer on July 23, 2012.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA
- Type: Government
- Abbreviation: NASA
- Administration: Administrator: Bill Nelson
- Founded: 1958
- Launchers: Space Shuttle | SLS
- Spacecraft: Orion
- Country: USA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.