30 Years Ago Today, Sally Ride Blasts Into Space & History
From a systems-engineering standpoint, it is easy to identify the point where Sally K. Ride began to leave the rest of the world behind. A flow chart of her life would show the crucial decision coming one day in 1977, when — as a 25-year-old astrophysicist winding up her doctoral work at Stanford University — she spotted an announcement in the campus newspaper about openings in the astronaut program, a career she had never even contemplated for herself. In what once would have been called an epiphany — but she herself would probably describe as a go/no-go decision node — she was up and out of the room before she had finished reading the notice, one of more than 1,000 women and nearly 7,000 men to apply for what would ultimately be the 35 slots in the astronaut class of 1978. Not everyone’s life resolves itself so neatly into yes- or-no decisions, taken in an instant and never looked back upon or regretted, but, if Sally Ride’s life proves anything, it is that the very smart are different from you and me.
Newsweek June 13, 1983
On This Date In 1965: The First American Spacewalk
Eyes glued to television sets, millions waited tensely to hear from astronaut Edward White as he climbed out of his capsule high over the pacific ocean. Then came the verdict: “This is fun!” said white, and men everywhere shared his boyish glee.
Newsweek June 14, 1965