Sally Ride

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Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (born May 26, 1951) from Los Angeles, California, is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. She studied at Portola Middle School, Westlake School for Girls, Swarthmore College and Stanford University, and earned a master's degree and PhD. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983, became the first American woman, and then-youngest American, to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.


Early life

Ride was born in Encino, part of Los Angeles, California, the eldest child of Carol Joyce (née Anderson) and Dale Burdell Ride. Of Norwegian ancestry, Ride has a sister named Karen "Bearful" Ride, who is a Presbyterian minister. Ride attended Portola Middle School and Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles (now Harvard-Westlake School) on a scholarship. In addition to being interested in science she was a nationally ranked tennis player. She attended Swarthmore College and then transferred to Stanford University, receiving a bachelor's degree in English and physics. She earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in physics also at Stanford, while doing research in astrophysics and free electron laser physics.[1][2]

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