Sally Ride, America’s first spacewoman, doesn’t look very different from a lot of other American professional women. She is attractive, with curly brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a bright smile. She likes to dress simply: she wears comfortable but colourful clothes, like many people from California.
But in 1983 Sally Ride became America’s first woman astronaut. She was one of five astronauts on the space shuttle Challenger, which completed a successful six-day voyage in space in June 1983. What makes a woman want to go into space?
Sally Ride grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her father is a professor at Santa Monica College, and her mother is a housewife. At Westlake High School for Girls, she was both an excellent student and tennis player. Today she still looks like a sportswoman. She is 1.6 metres tall, weighs 52 kilos and is very fit. When she was still a student, she became a very successful tennis player. She thought about becoming a professional sportswoman. But she decided to continue with her studies at college, and later at university.
People who know her say she is intelligent and confident. She also thinks deeply about things. But she is not always serious. She is fun and enjoys humour, but she is in a hurry to get on to more important things.
At high school she became interested in science. At university she studies English and Physics. After completing her studies at Standord University, she worked as a reseacher. In 1977 she was one of 1,000 women and 7,000 men who applied for the astronaut training programme. She was 25. She was one of 35 women who were accepted to start the programme in 1978. As part of her training she learned to be a jet pilot and a flight engineer. She married during her training. Her husband, Hawley, is also an astronaut. They do not plan to have any children yet.
When NASA decided to put a woman into space, none of Sally’s friends were surprised that they chose Sally. She has always been a person who wanted to go further. So when the space shuttle Challenger carried her on her first mission into space, Sally did what she had often done before : she left the world behind.
The main thing we learn about Sally Ride from the passage is:
- People who enter space training programmes must be very intelligent.
- You can succeed with whatever you want as long as you work hard and know where you want to go.
- Only people who are different and very unusual can be astronauts.
Note: Sally Ride was born in May, 26, 1951.sally ride1
Source: BREAKTHROUGH (J.C.Richards M.N.Long, New Edition (1).