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USPS Released New Stamp to Honor Sally Ride’s Notable Contributions

The United States Postal Service (USPS) released a commemorative stamp of the first American Woman to land in space, Sally Ride. The said stamp was called a “Forever Stamp” which was released last Tuesday after the dedication ceremony conducted to honor her service and contribution to the Astronomy industry.

The First American Woman in Space

Sally Ride was born and raised in Los Angeles and became a national tennis player during her childhood days before she attended Swarthmore College and Stanford University. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English and Physics before she pursued to study an interstellar medium, all the while receiving her master’s and doctor’s degree in Physics.

The USPS unveiled the Forever Stamp design in honor of Sally Ride

One day she read an advertisement in her school’s newspaper looking for an aspiring astronaut to join a space program. It was then when she decided to apply for the said program. Ride, who was just 32 years old back then, was one of the youngest American astronauts to join the crew for the Challenger space shuttle.

However, the said space exploration became a huge success, enabling her to become the first American woman in space. Following her successful career, she also worked as a Professor in Physics at University of San Diego, California, as well as the California Space Institute director.

Her Roaring NASA Career

NASA drafted Ride as one of the 8,000 people who answered and got qualified to the space program Ad in 1978. Ride first served as the ground-based capsule communicator for STS-2 and 3 (Space Shuttle Flights). Aside from that, she also helped developed “Canadarm”, also known as the shuttle’s robotic arm.

Despite her achievements, Ride received criticisms and was under fire from the media’s attention due to her gender. The media back then questioned her ability to join the said space program. They were concerned whether or not she would bring her makeup to space. Or how they were concerned about her crying during flight simulators.

Sally Ride was among the five-person crew of STS-7 with a mission to conduct pharmaceutical experiments and deployed two communications satellites. Ride was able to use the Canadarm to retrieve a satellite in space

They also asked about her bathroom situation inside the shuttle. Despite these controversies around her, she remained firm on her mission. She insisted she only saw herself as an astronaut, nothing more.

Sally’s second flight was the STS-41-G where she completed almost 343 hours in space in 1984. While Ride completed eight months of training before she was deployed at STS-61-M for her third flight for a deployment mission. The said mission was conducted after a disaster struck on the space shuttle Challenger (which she previously boarded with). Ride was awarded the Astronaut Hall of Fame, National Women’s Hall of Fame, and NASA Space Flight medal for her great contributions in the Astronomy industry.

Ride’s Personal Life

Despite her being a public figure in the field of Science and Astronomy, Ride was very private when it came to her personal life. She got married to Steve Hawley, a fellow NASA astronaut in 1982. However, they got divorced 5 years later.

After that, the public didn’t have any concrete information to her budding romance. That was, until her death. Ride’s obituary revealed after her death that Ride had a partner for 27 years, and her childhood sweetheart, at that!

Aside from that, O’Shaughnessy was also a Science Writer and one of the co-founders for Sally Ride Science. She now serves as the CEO and Chairman Board of Sally Ride Science. They have written around six science children books together.

Ride’s sister and the company confirmed their relationship, in which O’Shaughnessy keeps mum about their private life together before, as well as Ride’s sickness and cancer. Ride died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 61 last July 23, 2012, in her home. She also became known as the first LGBT astronaut in space.

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