A look back at local, national and world events through Deseret News archives.

On June 18, 1983, astronaut Sally K. Ride became America’s first woman in space as she and four colleagues blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger on a six-day mission.

Ride rode into space on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 when she was 32. Since her flight, as many as 56 other American women have flown in space, NASA said.

Ride flew in space twice, both times on Challenger in 1983 and in 1984, logging 343 hours in space. A third flight was canceled when Challenger exploded in 1986.

A California native, Ride served in the military and graduated from Stanford, where she was part of the tennis team. She credited a pair of high school teachers with encouraging her in science as well as confidence to pursue her dreams.

After retiring from NASA, one of Ride’s lasting legacies was allowing middle school students to take their own pictures of the moon using cameras aboard NASA’s twin Grail spacecraft in a project spearheaded by her company.

She died in 2012 at age 61 of pancreatic cancer.

Here are some stories of Ride from Deseret News archives:

Retired astronaut Ride has new mission: gender gap

Poet Gwendolyn Brooks and Sally Ride honored”

Sally Ride, first U.S. woman in space, dies at 61

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