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Sally Ride & Tam O'Shaughnessy

Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978 and, at the age of 32, became the first American woman in space. She left NASA in 1987 to work at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control. She served on the committees investigating the nation's two space shuttle disasters (Challenger and Columbia), becoming the only person to serve on both panels. She founded a company, Sally Ride Science, in 2001. She co-authored six children's science books with her life partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to be launched into space.

The elder child of Dale Burdell Ride and Carol Joyce (née Anderson), Ride was born in Los Angeles, California. She had one sibling, Karen "Bear" Ride, who is a Presbyterian minister. Both parents were elders in the Presbyterian Church. Ride's mother had worked as a volunteer counselor at a women's correctional facility. Her father had been a political science professor at Santa Monica College.

Ride attended Portola Junior High (now Portola Middle School) and then Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles (now Harvard-Westlake School) on a scholarship. In addition to being interested in science, she was a nationally ranked tennis player. Ride attended Swarthmore College for three semesters, took physics courses at UCLA, and then entered Stanford University as a junior, graduating with a bachelor's degree in English and physics. At Stanford, she earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in physics while doing research on the interaction of X-rays with the interstellar medium.


Sally Ride was a physicist and astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space. She left NASA in 1987 to work at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control. She co-authored six children's science books with her life partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University and childhood friend. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to be launched into space.



Ride was one of 8,000 people who answered an advertisement in the Stanford student newspaper seeking applicants for the space program. She was chosen to join NASA in 1978. During her career, Ride served as the ground-based capsule communicator (CapCom) for the second and third space shuttle flights (STS-2 and STS-3) and helped develop the space shuttle's robot arm.

Prior to her first space flight, she was subject to media attention due to her gender. During a press conference, she was asked questions like, "Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?" and "Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?" Despite this and the historical significance of the mission, Ride insisted that she saw herself in only one way—as an astronaut. On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on space shuttle Challenger for STS-7. She was preceded by two Soviet women, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982. The five-person crew of the STS-7 mission deployed two communications satellites and conducted pharmaceutical experiments. Ride was the first woman to use the robot arm in space and the first to use the arm to retrieve a satellite.

Her second space flight was in 1984, also on board the Challenger. She spent a total of more than 343 hours in space. Ride, who had completed eight months of training for her third flight (STS-61-M, a TDRS deployment mission) when the space shuttle Challenger disaster occurred, was named to the Rogers Commission (the presidential commission investigating the accident) and headed its subcommittee on operations. Following the investigation, Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she led NASA's first strategic planning effort, authored a report entitled "NASA Leadership and America's Future in Space" and founded NASA's Office of Exploration.

In 1987, Ride left her position in Washington, D.C., to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. In 1989, she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the California Space Institute. From the mid-1990s until her death, Ride led two public-outreach programs for NASA — the ISS EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM projects, in cooperation with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UCSD. The programs allowed middle school students to request images of the Earth and moon. In 2003, she was asked to serve on the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She was the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she co-founded in 2001 that creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on girls.

According to Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of the technical problems that led to the Challenger disaster, Ride was the only public figure to show support for him when he went public with his pre-disaster warnings (after the entire workforce of Morton-Thiokol shunned him). Sally Ride hugged him publicly to show her support for his efforts.

Ride wrote or co-wrote seven books on space aimed at children, with the goal of encouraging children to study science.

Ride endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008. She was a member of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee, an independent review requested by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on May 7, 2009.

Ride died on July 23, 2012, at age 61, seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Following cremation, her ashes were interred next to her father at Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, California.

Ride was extremely private about her personal life. She married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley in 1982; they divorced in 1987.

After death, her obituary revealed that Ride's partner of 27 years was Tam O'Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University and childhood friend, who met Ride when both were aspiring tennis players. O'Shaughnessy became a science teacher and writer and, later, the co-founder, chief operating officer, and executive vice president of Ride's company, Sally Ride Science. O'Shaughnessy now serves as Chair of the Board of Sally Ride Science. She co-authored six books with Ride. Their relationship was revealed by the company and confirmed by Ride's sister, who said that Ride chose to keep her personal life private, including her sickness and treatments. Ride is the first known LGBT astronaut.

Ride received numerous awards, including the National Space Society's von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and was awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal twice. Ride was the only person to serve on both of the panels investigating shuttle accidents (those for the Challenger accident and the Columbia disaster). Two elementary schools in the United States are named after her: Sally K. Ride Elementary School in The Woodlands, Texas, and Sally K. Ride Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland.

On December 6, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Ride into the California Hall of Fame at the California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts.

Ride directed public outreach and educational programs for NASA’s GRAIL mission, which sent twin satellites to map the moon’s gravity. On December 17, 2012, the two GRAIL probes, Ebb and Flow, were directed to complete their mission by crashing on an unnamed lunar mountain near the crater Goldschmidt. NASA announced that it was naming the landing site in honor of Sally Ride.

In 2013, the Space Foundation bestowed its highest honor, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, on Sally Ride.

On May 20, 2013, a National Tribute to Sally Ride was held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. On the same day, President Barack Obama announced that Ride would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. The medal is to be presented to Ride's family in a ceremony later in the year.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Ride

Tam Elizabeth O'Shaughnessy (born January 27, 1952) is an American educator, children’s science writer, former professional tennis player, and co-founder of the science education company Sally Ride Science. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Sally Ride Science.

O'Shaughnessy was born in San Andreas, California and attended Troy High School in Fullerton, California, where she was active in tennis. As a junior player, she was coached by tennis great Billie Jean King, who loved helping young players develop their skills, just as she had been helped by others. O’Shaughnessy went on to play on the women's professional tennis circuit from 1971 to 1974. She competed in the U.S. National Championships (now known as the U.S. Open) in 1966, 1970, and 1972. Her entry into the 1966 U.S. National Championships at the age of 14 came about by serendipity.

O’Shaughnessy was being coached by Dr. Robert Walter Johnson, a physician who played a key role in the tennis careers of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe. Johnson was an official of the American Tennis Association (ATA), an organization that promotes tennis for African-Americans but welcomes players of all backgrounds. During the summer of 1966, O’Shaughnessy, who is not African-American, competed in ATA tournaments in addition to U.S. Tennis Association junior events. O’Shaughnessy won the ATA national 18-and-under championship and so was automatically entered in the U.S. National Championship draw. O’Shaughnessy also competed in the 1972 Wimbledon Championships. During her tennis career, she was ranked as high as No. 52 in the world in women's singles on the Women’s Tennis Association rankings and as high as No. 3 in the U.S. in women’s doubles (with Ann Lebedeff). O’Shaughnessy holds national hard-court doubles titles in the junior division (with Ann Lebedeff) and in the women’s division (with Pam Austin).

After retiring from tennis, O’Shaughnessy was the founding publisher of the Women’s Tennis Association newsletter for several years before going to college to study biology.

O’Shaughnessy earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She was assistant professor of school psychology at Georgia State University from 1998 to 2001, and then associate professor of school psychology at San Diego State University from 2002 until 2007. O’Shaughnessy’s research on preventive interventions for children with reading difficulties was continuously funded by the U.S. Department of Education starting in graduate school. She retired early to devote her time and energy to Sally Ride Science, and was named professor emeritus at San Diego State University.

O’Shaughnessy has extensive experience cultivating girls' and boys' interest in reading, math, and science. Besides being a former science teacher, she is an award-winning children's science writer. O’Shaughnessy began her science writing career in 1990, collaborating with Ride on a children’s book, Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System. O’Shaughnessy has written 12 children’s science books, including six with Ride. Ride and O’Shaughnessy’s clear and eloquent writing style earned them many accolades, including the American Institute of Physics Children’s Science Writing Award in 1995 for their second book, The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth From Space.

As a scientist and educator, O’Shaughnessy became deeply concerned about the underrepresentation of women in science and technical professions. Research shows that young girls like science and have the same aptitude for it as boys. But as they enter adolescence, more girls than boys drift away from science, in part because of subtle stereotypes and lack of role models. In 2001, Ride, O’Shaughnessy, and three like-minded friends – Karen Flammer, Terry McEntee, and Alann Lopes – cofounded Sally Ride Science with the goal of narrowing the gender gap in science. Their strategy was to create innovative programs and books to keep girls engaged and allow them to envision themselves as scientists and engineers. Sally Ride Science gradually broadened its focus. Today the company strives to spark the interest of all students – girls and boys of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds – in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and careers. O’Shaughnessy became Chair of the Board of Directors of Sally Ride Science in January 2013 and Chief Executive Officer in March 2014.

Before becoming Chief Executive Officer, O’Shaughnessy served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Content at Sally Ride Science. She helped create the vision for and edited the widely acclaimed series Cool Careers In Science. The series consists of 12 books, each profiling 12 scientists and engineers working in areas from space science, green chemistry, and physics to math, environmental science, and engineering. The Cool Careers books feature female and male scientists of diverse backgrounds who are engaged in active, collaborative work. O’Shaughnessy also guided creation of the Key Concepts in Science series, which includes 12 books in Physical Science, 12 books in Earth Science, and 12 books in Life Science and the Sally Ride Science Academy brought to you by Exxon Mobil curriculum – teacher training on how to engage students in STEM topics and careers. All of the Sally Ride Science teacher training, science books, STEM career books, and hands-on labs are now available in interactive multimedia versions designed to ignite and build student interest in STEM.

O’Shaughnessy was the life partner of astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, from 1985 until Ride’s death in 2012. O’Shaughnessy and Ride also were business partners in Sally Ride Science, and they wrote children's science books together.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tam_O%27Shaughnessy

Further Readings:

Sally Ride: Shooting for the Stars Great Lives Series by Sue Hurwitz
Age Range: 10 and up
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (August 12, 1989)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044990394X
ISBN-13: 978-0449903940
Amazon: Sally Ride: Shooting for the Stars Great Lives Series
Amazon Kindle: Sally Ride: Shooting for the Stars Great Lives Series

Sally Ride

Shooting for the Stars

Astronaut Dr. Sally Ride took a deep breath and nervously waited as the powerful engines of the Space Shuttle Challenger roared to life. This was the most frightening, yet exciting moment of Sally's life! She was determined to prove that an American woman could perform in space as well as a man.

Countdown to History!

Sally Ride: Shooting for the Stars profiles the life of America's first woman astronaut to fly in space. Jain Sally's astronaut training as she learns to fly jets, practices sea rescue missions, and floats weightlessly in a special "zero gravity" aircraft. Witness her breathtaking view of Earth from 184 miles out in space while traveling aver 17,400 miles per hour! Then dare to share her dream of joining NASA's astronaut program.

More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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