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Sally Ride

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Sally Ride
Historian of the Astronaut
In office
Preceded by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin
Personal details
Sally Kristen Ride

May 26, 1951
Encino, California, U.S.
Died July 23, 2012 (age 61)
La Jolla, California, U.S.
Spouse(s) Steven Hawley (astronaut, divorced 1987)
Occupation Astronaut, astrophysicist

Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut and astrophysicist. In 1983, she became the first American woman to reach outer space.

She earned a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. She joined NASA in 1978, where she was an astronaut (1979–1987). She helped design the robot arm for the space shuttle. She was the first person to use the robot arm in space.

In 1983, she became the first American woman in space. She also served (1986, 2003) on the commissions that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger and Space Shuttle Columbia disasters. In 1989, she became professor of physics and director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego.[1] She was married to astronaut Steven Hawley (born 1951) from 1982 until they divorced in 1987.[2]