Dr. Ride applied to the astronaut program after reading an ad in a newspaper. More than 8,000 men and women applied to the space program that year. Of the 35 individuals accepted, six were women. One was Sally Ride.
Sally Ride was born on May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles, California. As a young girl, she wanted to become a professional tennis player and, at one time, was a ranked player on the junior tennis circuit. She attended Stanford University where she earned four degrees. Dr. Ride has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. She also has a Masters degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in Physics. She was accepted into the astronaut corps in 1978 and completed her training as a mission specialist in 1979. On June 18,1983 she became the first American woman to orbit Earth when she flew aboard Space Shuttle Challenger. Her second flight was also aboard Challenger in 1984. Dr. Ride was a member of the team chosen to investigate the explosion of Challenger in 1986. She left the astronaut corps in 1987 to join the faculty of Stanford University, her alma mater. Dr. Ride was, and is, concerned about the lack of women scientists and engineers. Her decision to return to Stanford University was evidence of her commitment to finding a solution to the problem. Since 1989, Dr. Ride has been on the faculty of the University of California at San Diego, where she also heads the California Space Institute. She is currently on leave from the univerity and is directing Sally Ride Science, a company that creates fun science experiences for young learners.
While a member of the astronaut corps, Sally Ride performed which job assignment?
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