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Sally Ride is best known as the first American woman to travel in space However her contributions to her field and the impact she has had on both the scientific community and society at large was significant Ms Ride was born on May 26 1951 in the suburbs of Los Angeles California and grew up there until she attended college NASA She was the first child of her parents Carol and Dale Ride Ride had a younger sister named Karen and while growing up she had a strong interest in sports and athletics She earned a tennis scholarship to a prestigious private school in Los Angles Westlake School for Girls There she became the captain of the tennis team and she was ranked 18th in a semi-pro league Academics were also very important to her as she had high grades and excelled in math and science Her parents encouraged her to pursue all of her interests and bought her a chemistry set and a telescope She excelled in high school and graduated in 1963 She applied and attended Stanford University and received a bachelors degree in both physics and English She continued studying physics to earn a masters degree in 1975 and a PhD in 1978 In the end she received four degrees from Stanford University Biography After earning her PhD Ride applied for a spot in the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations astronaut program and was accepted by beating out 1000 applicants It was the first time they allowed women to apply to the astronaut program She was 1 of 6 women who accepted in to the astronaut corps NASA It was here where Ms Ride began her true contributions to the field of space science She endured the programs difficult training program which included parachute jumping water survival and flying jets As a leader of the program she developed a robot arm and served as a communication officer
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