Earlier this week, I opened my browser and saw the CUTEST Google Doodle:
The doodle was for Sally Ride‘s birthday and I thought, “Hey! Now I have my Her’s Day Thursday lady!”
Sally Kristen Ride was was born on May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles, CA to a women’s correctional facility counselor and a political science professor. Sally always had a heart for science and earned her bachelor’s degree (and later her master’s and Ph.D.) in English and Physics.
In 1978, Sally saw an advertisement in the Stanford school newspaper seeking people for the space program. Sally was one of 8,000 applicants and was chosen to join NASA as an astronaut.
Being the first female astronaut, Sally faced a lot of scrutiny. During a press conference before her first space flight in 1983, Ride was asked, “Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?” (Really? Really?) But Sally faced it with grace. She went on to totally rock her position aboard the Challenger and became the first American woman in space, the first woman to use the robot arm in space, AND the first woman to use the robot arm to retrieve a satellite! (Take that, Howard Wolowitz!)
Before her third mission, tragedy struck close to Ride. The Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff in 1986. After that, Ride was stationed in Washington D.C., and appointed to a presidential committee that investigated the disaster. Ride went on to found NASA’s Office of Exploration.
In 2003, Sally founded Sally Ride Science, an organization that produces science entertainment and publications to help get middle and high school students (especially girls) excited about science!
Sadly, Sally passed in 2012, less than two years after receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Though she is gone, her legacy will live on and inspire young girls to believe in their dreams and keep shooting for the stars!