On this day in 1983, Sally Ride took flight on the Space Shuttle Challenger and became the first American woman (and at the same time became the youngest and only confirmed LGBT US astronaut). She was the third overall woman in space, preceded by two USSR cosmonauts – Valentina Tereshkova & Svetlana Savitkaya.
Ride was an accomplished engineer, physicist, and author. She worked at Stanford University and later became a professor of physics at the University of California San Diego. Ms. Ride also wrote/co-wrote children’s books on space promoting the study of science to children.
Despite the historical significance of the mission, Ride insisted that she saw herself in only one way—as an astronaut.
FUN FACT: Sally was featured as one of four “Women of NASA” in a LEGO set released in 2017.