Seen on the flight deck of the space shuttle Challenger, astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-7 mission specialist, became the first American woman in space on June 18, 1983.
Photo credit: NASA Thirty-nine years ago Saturday, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. The milestone marked a new era in spaceflight that has continued to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in spaceflight.
But for Ride, she was doing the job she trained for. Ride's spaceflight happened nearly 20 years after Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space and still is the only woman to fly a solo mission.