This "communicator badge," a prop from the set of Star Trek: Voyager, was owned by Dr. Sally K. Ride. The badge, which has a velcro hook and loop backing distinguishing it as a stage prop, was presented to Ride at the premiere of the pilot episode at Paramount Pictures in January 1995 by actress Kate Mulgrew, who portrayed the first female captain in the Star Trek franchise. Ride began watching the original series as a teenager, and her avid interest in Star Trek continued as an adult.
Sally Ride became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard STS-7 in 1983. Her second and last space mission was STS-41G in 1984. A physicist with a Ph.D., she joined the astronaut corps in 1978 as a part of the first class of astronauts recruited specifically for the Space Shuttle Program. Viewed as a leader in the NASA community, she served on the Rogers Commission after the Challenger disaster in 1986 as well as the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) in 2003. She also led the task force that produced a visionary strategic planning report in 1987 titled, “NASA Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” but known popularly as the Ride Report.
After she retired from NASA in 1987, Dr. Ride taught first at Stanford and later at the University of California, San Diego. Until her death in 2012, she was president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company that promoted science education.
Dr. Ride’s partner, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, donated the prop to the Museum in 2013.