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This Key to the City of Los Angeles was presented to Dr. Sally K. Ride in October 1984 by Mayor Tom Bradley. During the ceremony, Bradley said, "Sally Ride represents more than just the first woman in space, she is a symbol for young girls and woman all over the world that here in America this kind of opportunity is possible." Ride was born and raised in Los Angeles, and in response to recieving the award she said, "I have received quite a few keys to quite a few cities that I am not quite familiar with so it is a real honor to get the key to the city I still consider home."
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 key to the Museum in 2013.
This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.
Country of Origin
United States of America
3-D (Overall): 8.9 × 24.8 × 3.2cm (3 1/2 × 9 3/4 × 1 1/4 in.) Materials
Brass Inventory Number
Gift of Tam O'Shaughnessy
National Air and Space Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Open Access (CCO)