US astronaut and astrophysicist. In 1983 she became the first US woman in space, working aboard the space shuttle Challenger as a mission specialist. She was also mission specialist on two further shuttle flights in 1984 and 1985. She served on a presidential commission investigating the Challenger accident in 1986.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Ride was selected for NASA's astronaut programme out of 1000 female candidates in 1978, the year she was awarded a PhD in physics from Stanford University, California. She was special assistant to the administrator of NASA in 1987. She left NASA in the same year and in 1989 became director of the California Space Institute and professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.
From 1999 to 2000, Ride was president of the Web-site company, space.com. She has written four children's books about space.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.