Ride becomes first woman in space

Published 6:31 pm Thursday, March 31, 2022

Each March, Women’s History Month is observed and celebrated for women’s vital roles in American history and beyond. Each week throughout the month of March The Farmville Herald will highlight women who have made significant impacts and accomplishments in their lifetime.

On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space.

Ride joined NASA in 1978 as a member of the first group of astronaut candidates to include women and minorities.

Five years later, she lifted off on space shuttle Challenger as an STS-7 mission specialist and entered history books as the first American and third woman worldwide to orbit Earth.

At 32 years old, she was also the youngest American to fly into space, a record she held for 38 years.

The STS-7 mission deployed two satellites, one for Canada and one for Indonesia.

According to NASA Ride operated the shuttle’s robotic arm to deploy and then recapture a Shuttle pallet satellite (SPAS-1) which carried scientific experiments.

The Space Shuttle landed six days after takeoff.

Ride’s second space mission came in 1984.

The STS-41-G mission carried Ride along with a second female astronaut, Kathy Sullivan, who became the first American woman to go on a spacewalk.

Together with her second mission in 1984, Ride logged a total of two weeks in space.

Just recently Ride has emerged to the forefront again.

On Monday, March 21 the U.S. Mint began shipping the Dr. Sally Ride quarter, the second coin in its American Women Quarters program.

The coins showing an engraving depicting the late astronaut — should begin showing up at banks next month.