Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut

Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT) June 21, 2018
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Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, talks with ground control during a six-day mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983. NASA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Ride, left, and Anna Lee Fisher work on a mission sequence test as part of their 1978 astronaut class at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ride, a Los Angeles native, earned four degrees at Stanford University, including a doctorate in physics, according to NASA. NASA
Ride joined NASA as part of the class of 1978, the first to include women. From left are Shannon Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith Resnik, Fisher and Ride in August 1979. NASA
Ride's official NASA portrait in January 1983. During a 2008 interview with CNN, Ride recalled how the trip to space gave her a new perspective on Earth: "You can't get it just standing on the ground, with your feet firmly planted on Earth. You can only get it from space, and it's just remarkable how beautiful our planet is and how fragile it looks." NASA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Ride and the rest of the STS-7 Challenger crew in January 1983. Next to Ride, from left, are John M. Fabian, Bob Crippen, Norman Thagard and Frederick Hauck. NASA
A technician helps Ride strap herself into a shuttle mission simulator in Houston in May 1983, less than a month before her launch. NASA
Ride prepares to take off in a T-38 jet as she leaves Houston for Kennedy Space Center in June 1983, three days before the shuttle launch. NASA
The space shuttle Challenger lifts off on June 18, 1983. NASA
Ride takes her seat aboard the Challenger on June 19, 1983. NASA
Ride floats alongside Challenger's mid-deck airlock hatch during the six-day mission in space. nasa
Ride takes a photograph while orbiting Earth on the Challenger. Getty Images
Ride inspects a tool kit during orbit. She also traveled to space aboard the Challenger in 1984. She had been assigned to a third flight as well, but that was scratched after the deadly Challenger explosion in 1986. Getty Images
In February 2003, Ride speaks to the media at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Getty Images
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger applauds Ride after inducting her into the California Hall of Fame in December 2006. Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tam O'Shaughnessy, Sally Ride's life partner of 27 years, on behalf of Ride in November 2013. Ride was posthumously awarded the medal, the nation's highest civilian honor. Ride died on July 23, 2012, after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 61. Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images