Flag, United States, Flown on STS-1, Sally Ride

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    Flag, United States, Flown on STS-1, Sally Ride

    U.S. flag flown on STS-1 glued to paper presented to Sally K. Ride for her contributions to the success of STS-1. Signed by Christopher C. Kraft Jr., John Young and Bob Crippen. Includes photos of STS-1 launch and landing, and mission patch image.

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This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

This United States flag, flown on STS-1, was presented to Dr. Sally K. Ride in recognition for her contribution to the sucess of the mission, the first orbital flight of the space shuttle. The flag is mounted on a certificate signed by the Director of the Johnson Space Center, Christopher C. Kraft, and the two astronauts of STS-1, John W. Young and Robert L. "Bob" Crippen. Ride had been selected for astronaut training three years prior and watched the launch from the backseat of a T-38 training jet. Her first flight came two years later on STS-7, with Crippen as the Commander.

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 flag to the Museum in 2013.