Sally Kristen Ride is recognized by NASA as the first American woman in space, as well as the youngest astronaut to leave Earth overall. She was a part of two missions aboard the space shuttle Challenger and logged 343 total hours in space during her career.Continue Reading
Sally Ride joined NASA as a physicist and mission specialist in 1978 after earning four degrees at Stanford, including a Ph.D. in Physics. After completing her training at the age of 32, she became the first woman to orbit the Earth during her first Challenger mission in June 1983. After a second flight aboard Challenger in 1984, she remained part of the organization's earthbound support staff and was also chosen as a member of the investigative team formed in the wake of the 1986 Challenger disaster.
Ride left NASA three years later to join the staff at her alma mater, where she served at the university's Center for International Security and Arms Control before moving on to the University of California, San Diego as a physics professor. Later in life, she was asked to return to NASA's investigative team after the Columbia disaster of 2003 and is the only person to have served on both investigations. Ride went on to write several children's books promoting science before succumbing to a battle with pancreatic cancer in 2012.Learn more about US History
Dr. Mae Jemison is a former NASA astronaut. When she flew into space aboard the Endeavor in 1992, she became the first African-American woman in space. As the science mission specialist, Jemison was responsible for conducting crew-related scientific experiments on the space shuttle, including examining the crew's motion sickness.Full Answer >
Deborah Sampson Gannett (born Deborah Sampson) was an American woman who disguised herself as a man to enlist in and fight for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, impersonating her dead brother Robert Shurtleff Sampson. Her successful masquerade and subsequent honorable discharge from the Army remain among the most notable events of her life.Full Answer >
Born Dec.17, 1760 in Plympton, Massachusetts in Plymouth County, Deborah Sampson was the first American woman to serve as a soldier and participate in combat. Her parents were descendants of Governor William Bradford and Captain Myles Standish, who sailed aboard the Mayflower and helped establish the Plymouth Colony.Full Answer >
Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, had a childhood filled with learning and dreams of becoming an astronaut. Her parents, Charlie and Dorothy Jemison, encouraged her dreams and created an environment in which she could thrive.Full Answer >