[Sally K. Ride] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Sally K. Ride (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut

Born May 26, 1951, in Los Angeles, California. Her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Dale B. Ride, reside in Encino, California.

Brown hair; blue eyes; height: 5 feet 5 inches; weight: 115 pounds.

Graduated from Westlake High School, Los Angeles, California, in 1968; received from Stanford University a bachelor of science in Physics and a bachelor of arts in English in 1973, and master of science and doctorate degrees in Physics in 1975 and 1978, respectively.



She enjoys tennis (having been an instructor and having achieved national ranking as a junior), running, rugby, volleyball, softball and stamp collecting.



Dr. Ride has held teaching assistant and research assignments while a graduate student in the Physics Department at Stanford University. Her research includes one summer with the low-temperature group working in experimental general relativity, three years in X-ray astrophysics, and two years in free electron laser physics.

Dr. Ride was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, she completed a one year training and evaluation period, making her eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. She subsequently performed as an on-orbit capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for the STS-2 and STS-3 missions.

Dr. Ride was a mission specalist on STS-7, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983. She was accompanied by Captain Robert L. Crippen (spacecraft commander), Captain Frederick H. Hauck (pilot), and fellow mission specialists Colonel John M. Fabian and Dr. Norman E. Thagard. This was the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a five person crew. During the mission, the STS-7 crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK C-2) and Indonesia (PALAPA B-l); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPA5-01 ); conducted the first formation flying of the orbiter with a free-flying satellite (SPAS-01); carried and operated the first U.S./German cooperative materials science payload (OSTA-2); and operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments, in addition to activating seven Getaway Specials. Mission duration was 147 hours before landing on a lakebed runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1983.

Dr. Ride served as a mission specialist on STS 41-G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 5, 1984. This was the largest crew to fly to date and included Captain Robert L. Crippen (spacecraft commander), Captain Jon A. McBride (pilot), fellow mission specialists, Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan and Commander David C. Leestma, as well as two payload specialists, Commander Marc Garneau and Mr. Paul Scully-Power. Their eight day mission deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of the earth with the OSTA-3 pallet and Large Format Camera, as well as demonstrated potential satellite refuelling with an EVA and associated hydrazine transfer. Mission duration was 197 hours and concluded with a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 13, 1984.

In June 1985 Dr. Ride was assigned to serve as a mission specialist on STS 61-M. She terminated mission training in January 1986 in order to serve as a member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. Upon completion of the investigation, she was assigned to NASA Headquarters as Special Assistant to the Administrator for long range and strategic planning.

Dr. Ride will leave NASA in Autumn 1987 to assume the position of Science Fellow at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control, Palo Alto, California. She will work as a physicist in her new position.


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