Collection Item Summary:
This STS 41-G patch, owned by Dr. Sally K. Ride, commemorated her second and final shuttle mission in 1984. The patch's central design depicts NASA's astronaut pin design: a star capping three trajectories, encircled by an elliptical wreath symbolizing orbital flight. Along the bottom, beside each astronaut's name, there are appropriate male or female symbols. STS-41G was the first flight to have two women--Ride and Kathryn Sullivan. This patch includes an extra tab for two payload specialists added after the original design was created, including the first Canadian in space, Marc Garneau.
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 patch to the Museum in 2013.