This flight jacket belonged to Dr. Sally K. Ride, who became the first American woman in space when she flew on the STS-7 shuttle mission in 1983. Her second and last space mission was STS-41G in 1984. Shuttle astronauts wore this type of flight jacket to work and public appearances. The decorations told the individual's story. Here, the leather nametag identifies the mission on which Ride earned her astronaut wings, STS-7. The patch across the chest indicates that she was one of 35 astronauts selected in 1978 as the first group chosen for the space shuttle program. On the right shoulder is the patch for her other mission. The American flag and NASA logo patches appear on all astronaut uniforms. Dr. Ride’s partner, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, donated the jacket to the Museum in 2013.
Viewed as a leader in the NASA community, Sally Ride served on the Rogers Commission after the Challenger tragedy in 1986 as well as the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) in 2003. She also led the task force that produced a visionary strategic plan in 1987, titled “NASA Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” known popularly as the "Ride Report." After she left NASA in 1987, Dr. Ride taught first at Stanford and later at the University of California, San Diego, where she also served as the director of the California Space Institute. From 2001 until her death in 2012, she was president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she founded to promote science education.