Ride and her crewmates rocketed into space aboard Challenger at 7:33 a.m. Eastern Time on June 18, 1983. Ride later described the launch as "exhilarating, terrifying and overwhelming all at the same time."
Some of NASA's first female astronaut candidates take a break from training in Florida in 1978. From left: Sally Ride, Judith Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathryn Sullivan and Rhea Seddon
Ride floats near Challenger's hatch.
Ride inside the control room during a simulation of a shuttle flight in 1981.
Astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-7 mission specialist, communicates with ground controllers from the mid-deck of the earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger in June 1983.
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. She blasted off aboard Challenger, culminating a long journey that started in 1977 when the Ph.D. candidate answered an ad seeking astronauts for NASA missions.