Sally Ride was born in Encino, California, on May 26, 1951. When she was ten years old, she began playing tennis and found that she really liked it and excelled at it. So, when she was old enough to attend college, she went to the Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles, California, on a tennis scholarship, graduating in 1968. Then she attended Swarthmore College, but dropped out to become a professional tennis player. However, after three months of pro tennis, she decided to enroll in college again, this time at Stanford University.
By the time Sally was 27, she had her Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Masters' degrees as well as her Ph. D. It was then that she heard about NASA's call for astronauts and she applied for the position. She, along with five other women and 28 men, was chosen out of 8,000 candidates. In 1977, she underwent astronaut training while working for NASA. She served as the communications officer for the space shuttle Columbia's second and third flights in November 1981 and March 1982.
In 1983,Sally went up in space on the shuttle Challenger, the first American women to do so. She went into space on the Challenger again one year later. However, when she was about to go up again on the Challenger in 1986, the Challenger exploded, and she was sent instead to NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C. There, she created the "Office of Exploration" and a report on the space program's future titled Leadership and America's Future in Space.
Sally retired from NASA after over 343 hours in space in 1987 and became a Science Fellow at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control. Then, in 1989, she was named the California Space Institute's Director and the University of California at San Diego's Professor of Physics.
In June 1999, Sally became Executive Vice President and a Board of Directors member of http://www.space.com. She was named President in September of the same year, but soon resigned. She has written many books for children and many biographies have been written about her in her lifetime. She has also received many awards, including the National Spaceflight Medal, which she received twice. She is still living and making a difference in our world today.
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