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Daily History

June 18 1983 First American woman in space

Sally Ride

On June 18th 1983, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the space shuttle Challenger is launched into space on its second mission. Aboard the shuttle was Dr. Sally Ride, who as a mission specialist became the first American woman to travel into space. During the six-day mission, Ride, an astrophysicist from Stanford University, operated the shuttle’s robot arm, which she had helped design.

Her historic journey was preceded almost 20 years to the day by cosmonaut Valentina V. Tereshkova of the Soviet Union, who on June 16th, 1963, became the first woman ever to travel into space. The United States had screened a group of female pilots in 1959 and 1960 for possible astronaut training but later decided to restrict astronaut qualification to men.

In 1978, NASA changed its policy and announced that it had approved six women to become the first female astronauts in the U.S. space program. The new astronauts were chosen out of some 3,000 original applicants. Among the six were Sally Ride and Shannon Lucid, who in 1996 set a new space endurance record for an American and a world endurance record for a woman during her 188-day sojourn on the Russian space station Mir.

On June 16th 2012, China put its first woman, Liu Yang, into space, 49 years to the day after the Soviet Union, and 29 years after America.

This Day In History

About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner, Writer, Teacher and Business Consultant. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications. Please consider donating, to support our social justice campaign, by clicking on the "Donations Page" button in the top menu.


10 thoughts on “June 18 1983 First American woman in space

  1. Sadly, another Russel Ray camping trip comes to an end………………..

    Posted by Russel Ray Photos | July 4, 2012, 14:11
  2. American women are mostly pretty but at the same time they are quite plumby. I like russian women because they are skinier. ‘`,,.

    Our new web-site

    Posted by Danae Mehserle | October 11, 2012, 00:10


  1. Pingback: BREAKING NEWS: Sally Ride, FIRST American Woman to Enter Space DIES At 61!!! | Get It Wright Here - July 24, 2012

  2. Pingback: Ride Sally Ride « Craigspeak - July 24, 2012

  3. Pingback: NASA Mourns Passing Of Astronaut Sally Ride | David Reneke | Space and Astronomy News - July 24, 2012

  4. Pingback: Astronaut Sally Ride Dies Aged 61 « Mish Sci Fi Musings - July 24, 2012

  5. Pingback: First U.S. woman in space dies at 61 « turcanin. cu ţ. - July 24, 2012

  6. Pingback: Sally Ride, first US woman in space dead at 61 - July 24, 2012

  7. Pingback: Sally Ride, First Woman Astronaut, dies at age 61… « Under The LobsterScope - July 24, 2012

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