Sally Ride became the first American woman in space 36 years ago today

50 years after the launch of Apollo 11, NASA is emphasizing the role of women as it prepares for its next mission to land the first female astronauts on the moon.

Posted: Jul 10, 2019 2:00 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2019 2:00 PM

It's been 36 years since the world witnessed a giant leap for womankind. June 18th marks the 36th anniversary of astronaut Sally Ride's famous trip into space.

At just 32 years old, Ride was the first American woman, and the youngest American, to leave the atmosphere when she boarded the Space Shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983.

During the six-day mission, she worked as a mission specialist using the shuttle's robotic arm to deploy communications satellites.

Her career as an astronaut began as she was completing her Ph.D. in astrophysics at Stanford University.

In 1977, NASA displayed an ad in her school's student newspaper inviting women to apply for the space program, prompting Ride to send a 40-word letter asking for an application. She ended up beating out more than 1,000 other applicants, and was one of six women selected to the astronaut program.

But Ride wasn't done making history. Just one year after her historic Challenger mission, Ride traveled to space for a second time. That made her the first American woman to travel to space twice.

She was actually scheduled for a third spaceflight, but the 1986 Challenger accident ended those plans. Ride then served on the Rogers Commission as head of the subcommittee on operations to investigate the explosion.

Later on, she worked on the investigation into the accident involving the Space Shuttle Columbia, making her the only person to work on the committees for both accidents.

After leaving NASA, Ride became director of the California Space Institute, as well as a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.

Ride was passionate about improving education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, especially for girls. In 2001, she founded SallyRide Science, a nonprofit that promotes science education programs and works to help students pursue interests in STEM fields.

She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003.

Sally Ride passed away in 2012 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, and in 2013, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

President Obama praised the astronaut's achievements, saying "she inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars and later fought tirelessly to help them get there by advocating for a greater focus on science and math in our schools."

He added, "Sally's life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve, and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
Harrison137624
LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
Ripley123714
Decatur123542
Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 30°
Angola
Broken Clouds
32° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 24°
Huntington
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 32°
Decatur
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 31°
Van Wert
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 31°
Snow/Rain Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events