Awarded: April 2000
(May 26, 1951 - July 23, 2012)
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. She was a mission specialist on the Challenger, the seventh space shuttle flight. She embarked on this career in 1977 and was one of the six women selected for a group of 35 new astronauts in 1978. Ride flew again in 1984 and in 1986 was part of the presidential commission investigating the Challenger explosion. She left NASA in 1987 to accept a fellowship at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.