June 18, 1983: Sally Ride Becomes the First American Woman in Space
On this day in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. She was a mission specialist aboard the Challenger. She rode the space shuttle Challenger into orbit in 1983, but she was also a NASA adviser, a lifelong educator, and a founder of Sally Ride Science, a venture dedicated to inspiring and teaching young people, especially girls, about science and space.
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The Yutu rover suffered a mysterious “abnormality” over the weekend. And the robot’s microblogged death note may make you cry.
“The sun has fallen, and the temperature is dropping so quickly…to tell you all a secret, I don’t feel that sad. I was just in my own adventure story - and like every hero, I encountered a small problem.” “Goodnight, Earth,” concluded the rover. “Goodnight, humanity.”
MariaClara Eimmart, Ten Depictions of Heavenly Phenomena, (late 17th century)
Immart was the daughter of the history painter, portraitist and amateur astronomer Georg Christoph Eimmart, with whom she collaborated. Her father was director of the Malerakademie in Nürnberg but also established a private observatory. She was given a broad education in the fine arts, and specialized in botanical and astronomical illustrations. She made a series of some 350 drawings of lunar phases, observed by telescope, and captured on distinctive blue paper. Twelve of these were given to conte Marsili, a scientific collaborator with her father, of those twelve, ten survive in Bologna. She shortly thereafter married her father’s pupil and successor, the astronomer Johann Heinrich Müller and died in childbirth.
Rose Church knew an opportunity when she saw one. An employee of McDonnell-Douglas in St. Louis, Missouri, Mrs. Church had heard that the company was hiring an “aerospace physician” and when given a opportunity to speak with company president James McDonnell, she told him “Where there’s a doctor, there’s always a nurse.”
After that conversation there was.
Mrs. Church would serve as the nurse to the Mercury and Gemini astronauts including John Glenn, Alan Shepherd, and Gus Grissom. (She would even bring astronauts their favorite training snack, whether it’s a donut or a beer.)
When McDonnell-Douglas did not receive the contract to build the vehicles for the Apollo missions, Mrs. Church retired.