June 18, 1983 — Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space

When the Space Shuttle Challenger launched on June 18, 1983 on mission STS-7, Sally Kristen Ride, age 32, became the first American woman in space as a crew member. (She was third overall, behind the Soviets Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982.)

Ride was selected by NASA in 1978, after answering a newspaper advertisement for the space program – 8900 other people also answered it. On her first mission, she was one of a five member crew who deployed two communications satellites and conducted pharmaceutical experiments. Ride rode again in 1984, again on the Challenger, and after the Challenger exploded on takeoff, she was a member of the Presidential Committee charged with investigating the mishap.

Sally Ride (1984).jpg
By NASA; retouched by <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Coffeeandcrumbs” title=”User talk:Coffeeandcrumbs”>Coffeeandcrumbs</a> – <a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://images.nasa.gov/details-S84-37256.html”>Description page</a> (<a rel=”nofollow” class=”external text” href=”https://images-assets.nasa.gov/image/S84-37256/S84-37256~orig.jpg”>direct image link</a>), Public Domain, Link

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We Didn’t Start the Fire — Billy Joel