Throwback Thursday: Sally Ride rockets into space

Ride's official portrait (NASA)
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By ALEX ONKEN
Staff Writer

Thirty-three years ago today, Sally Ride made her mark on history by becoming the first American woman and the youngest person at 32 to enter into space aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
Ride, a native of California, was encouraged by Billie Jean King to quit college and become a professional tennis player, according to Ride's obituary in The New York Times, which ran on July 23, 2012. She refused.
Ride graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D. in physics in 1978 according to her NASA profile. She worked as a capsule communicator on the Space Transportation System-2 and STS-3 space shuttle missions prior to traveling to space.
Ride was a mission specialist for missions STS-7 and STS 41-G. She was assigned to the crew of STS 61-M, but the mission was terminated after the Challenger shuttle explosion. She was the only person that served on the boards investigating the destruction of both space shuttles, the Challenger in 1986 and the Columbia in 2003.
Ride died from pancreatic cancer in 2012. She was 61.