40-Word Handwritten Letter Led Sally Ride To Become The First American Woman In Space

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Sally Ride is the face of women astronauts in NASA. Her journey to become the first American woman in space has been wonderful. The physicist and astronaut at NASA embarked upon two space missions during her nearly three-decade long career at NASA and spent more than 342 hours in space.

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Her first space trip in 1983 carried her as the mission-specialist, following her second mission for the Space Shuttle Challenger that she headed to in 1984. She was designated to return once more but the plans were called off after the Challenger was destroyed in an accident in 1986, killing all its crew members. Ride investigated the disaster post the training for her third flight.

But how did the young astrophysics student at Stanford land up at the most renowned aerospace research hub in the world? Sally Ride’s selection into NASA was rather ‘entertaining’ as she stated in a 2002 interview. The Ph.D pursuer chanced upon an article in the Stanford Daily in 1977 that said NASA was looking to hire female astronauts to take part in its shuttle program. That’s when she knew she had to apply. Ride dropped in a super short handwritten letter to NASA, not more than 60 letters to apply for the program. The letter was extremely plain and even had a small typo scribbled out.

Image credits: Business Insider

O’Shaughnessy shared a picture of the letter with Business Insider:

Ride is still thought of only as an astronaut by a lot of people. However, her undertakings in the field of science education and inculcating passion for the subjects, particularly in girls is a side that not many come to identify. After her trips to space, Rider lobbied for improving the level of science education by writing about her space life accounts in books like To Space And Back (1986) and Exploring Our Solar System taking young audience on a trip among the stars and everything beyond. Ride, along with her partner O’Shaughnessy found a non-profit organization ‘Sally Ride Science’ to write children’s science books together.

Original Source: https://in.mashable.com/science/4194/40-word-handwritten-letter-led-sally-ride-to-become-the-first-american-woman-in-space

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