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House Approves Dr. Sally K. Ride Resolution

On July 9, the House approved, by voice vote, H. Res. 1313, a resolution celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first American woman in space, Dr. Sally K. Ride, and honoring her contributions to the space program and science education.

Sponsored by Rep. Nicholas Lampson (D-TX), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • Dr. Ride was selected as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut candidate in 1978, as part of the eighth class of NASA astronauts and one of only six women in the class;
  • On June 18, 1983, Dr. Ride was lifted into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger as part of the STS-7 crew, making her the first American woman in space;
  • On October 5, 1984, Dr. Ride made her second spaceflight as a mission specialist on STS 41-G, a mission that demonstrated the ability to refuel satellites in orbit and launched NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, which spent over 20 years providing valuable scientific data on the earth’s absorption and re-radiation of solar energy;
  • Dr. Ride was called to serve on the presidential commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident;
  • Dr. Ride has continued to serve the nation’s space program with distinction, authoring the 1987 report, “Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” and serving on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board;
  • As an educator, author of children’s books, and advocate for the next generation of women in science, mathematics, and technology, Dr. Ride’s work has contributed to the well-being of our youth; and
  • Dr. Ride has worked tirelessly and passionately to encourage young women to follow the sciences, mathematics, and technology by promoting science festivals, camps, and other opportunities through which young women can acquire hands-on learning about science.

    Along with celebrating the 25th anniversary of Dr. Sally K. Ride as the first American woman in space, the resolution “extends its appreciation and gratitude for Dr. Ride’s excellence in service to the nation as an astronaut, educator, and advocate for the next generation of women scientists and engineers.” Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) stated, “Dr. Ride also happens to be one of my constituents, and I have had the pleasure of meeting her. Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Ride and the STS-7 crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger were propelled into space. It had been over two decades since Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind. But on June 18, 1983, Sally K. Ride took a large stride for women everywhere by becoming the first American woman in space…With women like her leading the way, it is no wonder that the number of females to obtain degrees in science and engineering has increased dramatically in the last 30 years. Ensuring that women are equitably represented in science and technology fields will mean a new level of global competitiveness for our country. This is something we need as we continue to fall behind as a nation in math and the sciences. While Dr. Ride’s mission landed safely 25 years ago, the task of achieving gender parity in her field is far from over. As Dr. Ride’s Congresswoman and as the grandmother to a young and curious granddaughter, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.”

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