On June 18th, 1983, NASA physicist Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman astronaut to fly in space. Orbiting Earth on Space Shuttle Challenger, she inspired an entire generation to follow their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as she operated the shuttle’s robotic arm to deploy two communications satellites.
She flew on Challenger again in 1984, and in 2001, she continued her mission on the ground by cofounding Sally Ride Science, an organization dedicated to helping students stick with STEM as they go through school.
Related watching: An ABC News report of Dr. Ride’s 1983 Challenger launch.
Related reading: Though Dr. Ride was the first American woman in space, she was the third woman from Earth, joining cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982) in the history books.
Watch this next: Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA Astronaut.