Collection Item Summary:
This NASA pin, featuring the logotype nicknamed the "worm," was owned by Dr. Sally K. Ride. The "worm" was created in 1975 when NASA decided to create a more modern-looking insignia. The so-called "meatball" logo it replaced, which had been in use since 1959, featured a blue circle bisected by a red vector as a simplifed version of the original NASA seal. When the "worm" was retired in 1992, NASA went back to the "meatball" insignia.
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 pin to the Museum in 2013.