(WOMENSENEWS)–1983. Dr. Sally Ride, a scientist who majored in astrophysics at Stanford University, becomes the first American woman to travel in space. Aboard the space shuttle Challenger, launched June 18 for a six-day mission, Ride made history and generated intense media attention. She soon stopped accepting invitations to public events unless her four fellow crew members were included. Ride served on the panel of inquiry after the Challenger exploded in 1986. She left the space program for academics in 1987.

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