Thirty-eight years ago on June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman astronaut to make it to space.
She, along with four other colleagues, blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger for a six-day mission to space.
On June 18, 1983, Ride became the first American woman to fly a space mission. Her job on the space mission was to work the robotic arm, which was used to put satellites into space.
In 1984, Ride flew on the space shuttle once more. That mission lasted for nine days. On her second space flight, she was tasked with using the shuttle’s robotic arm to take ice off the shuttle’s exterior and fix a radar antenna.
After she completed her time at NASA, Ride was appointed in 1989 as the director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego, where she also served as a professor of Physics.
In 2001, Ride launched a company to create educational programs for girls and young women to inspire them to pursue interests in math and science.
She received several awards, including the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award and the NASA Space Flight Medal.
Ride was also inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
In May 2021, the U.S. Mint announced that Ride would be one of the women featured on a series of new quarters, according to The New York Times.
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