May 26th marks the birthday of late Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space. We pay tribute to her contributions, namely her study of the laws of bodies in motion. In her mission in 1983, Ride was not only the first American woman in space, but she was also the youngest person ever in space at the age of 32.
Ride also became a faculty member of the University of California San Diego in 1989 as a Physics professor, the Director of the University of California’s California Space Institute, and then founded an educational company called Sally Ride Science. Ride is an inspiration to young girls everywhere, especially those who are inspiring to be successful in science, technology, engineering and math careers.
The Miles Team honors Sally Ride today not just for all of her accomplishment, but because she took risks and pursued an unconventional route. Per finishing her Ph.D. at Stanford, she saw a posting in the newspaper saying that NASA was looking for astronauts and, for the first time, women were allowed to apply. Following her missions, Ride began to realize that children shy away from STEM careers because society sends false messages about who scientists and engineers are so she pushed to motivate young people to stick to their dreams.
I had the opportunity to meet Ride nearly six years ago before she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and her message to me was simple, to write my own history. She explained to me that everyone is categorized by society and people do not need to do something revolutionary to change the world. We just need to begin by changing our own world.