52 Inspiring Sally Ride Quotes To Reach Sky

Sally Kristen Ride, born on May 26, 1951 in Encino, California, was a gifted student passionate about science and an accomplished tennis player.

Initially considering a tennis career, she instead pursued academics at Stanford University, earning degrees in physics and English, followed by a masters and a Ph.D. in physics, focusing on astrophysics.

In 1977, responding to a NASA advertisement seeking astronauts, Ride was among the 25 hired from over 8,000 applicants.

At the Johnson Space Center, she undertook rigorous physical training, mastering space travel specifics and the Space Shuttle’s controls.

Sally Ride Quotes

Related: Space Exploration Quotes to Inspire Future Astronauts and Johannes Kepler Quotes from the German Astronomer

Ride made history as the first American woman in space on June 18, 1983, aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger during the STS-7 mission.

Her role as a mission specialist involved deploying satellites and conducting scientific experiments. Ride completed a second successful space mission in 1984.

Following the tragic Challenger explosion in 1986, Ride’s third mission was canceled and she served on President Reagan’s commission investigating the accident.

Post-NASA, Ride worked at Stanford University, the California Space Institute and founded her own company, Sally Ride Science.

She passed away on July 23, 2012, leaving behind a legacy of space exploration and scientific inspiration.

I have collected some of the best quotes from ‘Sally Ride’ for you.

Inspiring Sally Ride Quotes

1. “I have been a bit of a risk taker all my life.”~ (Sally Ride).

2. “If I think I’ve accomplished what I set out to accomplish, then that’s achievement.”~ (Sally Ride).

3. “Our future lies with today’s kids and tomorrow’s space exploration.” ~ (Sally Ride).


4. “The stars don’t look bigger, but they do look brighter.” ~ (Sally Ride).

5. “We need to make science cool again.” ~ (Sally Ride).

6. “The best advice I can give anybody is to try to understand who you are and what you want to do, and don’t be afraid to go down that road and do whatever it takes and work as hard as you have to work to achieve that.” ~ (Sally Ride).


7. “When you’re getting ready to launch into space, you’re sitting on a big explosion waiting to happen.” ~ (Sally Ride).

8. “Then during the mission itself, I used the space shuttle’s robot arm to release a satellite into orbit.” ~ (Sally Ride).

9. “My background is in physics, so I was the mission specialist, who is sort of like the flight engineer on an airplane.” ~ (Sally Ride).

10. “The view of earth is absolutely spectacular, and the feeling of looking back and seeing your planet as a planet is just an amazing feeling. It’s a totally different perspective, and it makes you appreciate, actually, how fragile our existence is.” ~ (Sally Ride).

11. “If we want scientists and engineers in the future, we should be cultivating the girls as much as the boys.” ~ (Sally Ride).

12. “I would like to be remembered as someone who was not afraid to do what she wanted to do, and as someone who took risks along the way in order to achieve her goals.” ~ (Sally Ride).

13. “The thing I’ll remember most about the flight is that it was fun. In fact, I’m sure it was the most fun that I’ll ever have in my life.” ~ (Sally Ride).

14. “If they asked me if I wanted to go into space tomorrow, I’d do it in a heartbeat. On the other hand, if they asked me if I wanted to go into training for three years and then go into space again, I’d probably say no.” ~ (Sally Ride).

15. “After the Challenger accident, NASA put in a lot of time to improve the safety of the space shuttle to fix the things that had gone wrong.” ~ (Sally Ride).

16. “We can see cities during the day and at night, and we can watch rivers dump sediment into the ocean, and see hurricanes form.” ~ (Sally Ride).


17. “I did not come to NASA to make history.” ~ (Sally Ride).

18. “I suggest taking the high road and have a little sense of humor and let things roll off your back. I think that’s very important.” ~ (Sally Ride).

19. “I was always very interested in science, and I knew that for me, science was a better long-term career than tennis.” ~ (Sally Ride).

20. “For whatever reason, I didn’t succumb to the stereotype that science wasn’t for girls. I got encouragement from my parents. I never ran into a teacher or a counselor who told me that science was for boys. A lot of my friends did.” ~ (Sally Ride).

21. “The view of Earth is spectacular.” ~ (Sally Ride).

22. “I think it’s important for little girls growing up, and young women, to have one in every walk of life. So from that point of view, I’m proud to be a role model!” ~ (Sally Ride).

23. “I’ve spent my whole life not talking to people, and I don’t see why I should start now.” ~ (Sally Ride).

24. “All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.” ~ (Sally Ride).

25. “For quite some time, women at NASA only had scientific backgrounds.” ~ (Sally Ride).

26. “Weightless is a great equalizer.” ~ (Sally Ride).

Top Sally Ride Quotes

27. “So most astronauts getting ready to lift off are excited and very anxious and worried about that explosion – because if something goes wrong in the first seconds of launch, there’s not very much you can do.” ~ (Sally Ride).

28. “If it wasn’t for the women’s movement, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” ~ (Sally Ride).

29. “Ever been to Disneyland? That was definitely an E ticket!” ~ (Sally Ride).


30. “I don’t have any nicknames.” ~ (Sally Ride).

31. “When you can feel that close to something you’re used to seeing from this great distance, well, it changes a person.” ~ (Sally Ride).

32. “But when I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth.” ~ (Sally Ride).

33. “The pressure suit helps if something goes wrong during launch or re-entry – astronauts have a way to parachute off the shuttle. The suits protect you from loss of pressure in case of emergency.” ~ (Sally Ride).

34. “Rocket science is tough, and rockets have a way of failing.” ~ (Sally Ride).

35. “The food isn’t too bad. It’s very different from the food that the astronauts ate in the very early days of the space program.” ~ (Sally Ride).

36. “I find myself looking around for other new, interesting opportunities to dive into.” ~ (Sally Ride).

Famous Sally Ride Quotes

37. “The rockets light! The shuttle leaps off the launch pad in a cloud of steam and a trail of fire.” ~ (Sally Ride).

38. “It was a real honor for me to get to be the first woman astronaut. I think it’s really important that young girls that are growing up today can see that women can be astronauts too. There have actually been a lot of women, who are astronauts, that that’s a career that’s open to them.” ~ (Sally Ride).

39. “No, I think most astronauts recognize that the space shuttle program is very high-risk, and are prepared for accidents.” ~ (Sally Ride).

40. “I liked math – that was my favorite subject – and I was very interested in astronomy and in physical science.” ~ (Sally Ride).

41. “It takes a couple of years just to get the background and knowledge that you need before you can go into detailed training for your mission.” ~ (Sally Ride).

42. “It’s easy to sleep floating around – it’s very comfortable. But you have to be careful that you don’t float into somebody or something!” ~ (Sally Ride).

43. “Because I was a tennis player, Billie Jean King was a hero of mine.” ~ (Sally Ride).

Inspirational Sally Ride Quotes

44. “It’s too bad our society isn’t further along.” ~ (Sally Ride).

45. “I do a lot of running and hiking, and I also collect stamps – space stamps and Olympics stamps.” ~ (Sally Ride).

46. “The astronauts who came in with me in my astronaut class – my class had 29 men and 6 women – those men were all very used to working with women.” ~ (Sally Ride).

47. “I’ve discovered that half the people would love to go into space and there’s no need to explain it to them. The other half can’t understand and I couldn’t explain it to them. If someone doesn’t know why, I can’t explain it.” ~ (Sally Ride).

48. “For a long time, society put obstacles in the way of women who wanted to enter the sciences.” ~ (Sally Ride).

49. “The experience of being in space didn’t change my perspective of myself or of the planet or of life. I had no spiritual experience.” ~ (Sally Ride).

50. “Different astronauts sleep in different ways.” ~ (Sally Ride).

51. “Three Secrets to Success: Be willing to learn new things. Be able to assimilate new information quickly. Be able to get along with and work with other people.” ~ (Sally Ride).

52. “Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It’s posing questions and coming up with a method. It’s delving in.” ~ (Sally Ride).

Short Biography of Sally Ride

In 1983, Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space, flying on the Challenger shuttle.


Not initially aspiring to be an astronaut, Ride, a Stanford graduate with a Ph.D. in astrophysics, joined NASA in 1978 from a large pool of applicants, including many women.

Her role as a mission specialist involved handling the shuttle’s technology and conducting experiments.

Full Name Sally Kristen Ride
Born May 26, 1951, Encino, Los Angeles, California, United States
Died July 23, 2012 (age 61 years), La Jolla, California, United States
Occupation Physicist
Space missions STS-7, STS-41-G
First space flight STS-7
Education Stanford University (1978), Stanford University (1975), MORE
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013, posthumous)
Time in space 14d 07h 46m
Spouse Steven Hawley (m. 1982–1987)

Ride enjoyed the adventure, calling it the most fun she’d ever had. After her NASA career, she focused on encouraging young people in science, founding Sally Ride Science in 2001.

Quick Interesting Facts about Sally Ride

  • Sally dreamed of being the Dodgers’ shortstop as a young girl in Los Angeles.
  • Her parents encouraged her scientific curiosity with gifts like a chemistry set and a telescope.
  • Sally collected stamps, especially those related to the Olympics and space exploration.
  • She met her life partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, during their childhood tennis days.
  • Sally played tennis against Billie Jean King and was advised she could go pro.
  • A newspaper article about NASA seeking astronauts sparked her decision to pursue spaceflight.
  • Sally’s sister, Bear, became a Presbyterian minister the same year Sally became an astronaut.
  • Before her space missions, she served as the first female CAPCOM at NASA.
  • Sally enjoyed flying in T-38 jets as part of her astronaut training.
  • She had to correct NASA engineers on their assumptions about women’s needs in space.
  • Reporters asked her sexist questions, which she handled with humor.
  • Sally secretly met with Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in Hungary.
  • She appeared on Sesame Street to inspire children.
  • Sally’s second space mission included another female astronaut, Kathryn Sullivan.
  • She showcased her sense of humor during mission STS-41G with a mock answering machine message.
  • Sally served on investigative panels for both the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters.
  • She was a fan of Star Trek and attended a premiere of Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Alongside Tam O’Shaughnessy, she co-wrote science books for children.
  • Sally’s legacy inspired a generation of female astronauts.
  • President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.
  • She had a passion for tennis from a young age, playing in Europe and under Alice Marble.
  • Sally earned a dual degree in physics and English from Stanford University.
  • She was the first American woman in space and flew on two space missions.
  • Sally co-founded Sally Ride Science to promote STEM education for girls.
  • She was recognized with numerous honors, including induction into several Halls of Fame.

Top Questions about Sally Ride

Q: What made Sally Ride famous?

A: Sally Ride became famous for being the first American woman to travel to space. She was also known for her love of running and playing sports like tennis, volleyball, and softball. Additionally, she wrote science books for kids.

Q: Was Sally Ride aboard the Challenger when it exploded?

A: No, Sally Ride wasn’t on the Challenger when it exploded in 1986. She was preparing for a different mission at the time but later contributed to the investigation of the Challenger tragedy.

Q: What significant event happened to Sally Ride in 1983?

A: In 1983, Sally Ride made history by flying into space on the Challenger’s STS-7 mission, becoming the first American woman and the youngest American at the time to do so.

Q: Why is Sally Ride a significant figure in history?

A: Sally Ride is significant for breaking barriers as the first American woman in space. Her historic flight on June 18, 1983, on the Challenger’s STS-7 mission, made her a symbol of progress for women in STEM fields.

Q: When did Sally Ride leave NASA, and what did she do afterward?

A: Sally Ride left NASA in 1987. She then became a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and worked to inspire women and girls to pursue careers in science and math.

Q: Did Sally Ride have any children?

A: Sally Ride didn’t have children. She was married to fellow astronaut Steven Hawley from 1982 to 1987.

Q: When and where was Sally Ride born?

A: Sally Ride was born on May 26, 1951, in Los Angeles, California.

Q: What was Sally Ride’s academic background before joining NASA?

A: Before joining NASA, Sally Ride attended Swarthmore College, took a physics course at UCLA, and then went to Stanford University, where she double majored in physics and English. She earned her master’s in 1975 and PhD in physics in 1978 from Stanford.

Q: How did Sally Ride become involved with NASA?

A: Sally Ride joined NASA in 1978 after the astronaut program called for applicants. She was accepted the same year.

Q: What historic spaceflight achievement is Sally Ride known for?

A: Sally Ride is known for being the first American woman in space, which she achieved on June 18, 1983, aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

Q: What were some of Sally Ride’s responsibilities and achievements during her first spaceflight?

A: During her first spaceflight, Sally Ride deployed two communications satellites, conducted pharmaceutical experiments, and became the first woman to use the robot arm in space to retrieve a satellite.

Q: What significant role did Sally Ride play following the Challenger disaster in 1986?

A: After the Challenger disaster, Sally Ride served on the Rogers Commission, which investigated the accident, and later led NASA’s first strategic planning effort.

Q: How did Sally Ride contribute to space education after leaving NASA?

A: After leaving NASA, Sally Ride worked on public-outreach programs like ISS EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM, and co-founded Sally Ride Science to create science programs and publications for students, focusing particularly on girls.

Q: What was Sally Ride’s role in the aftermath of the Columbia space shuttle accident in 2003?

A: Sally Ride was asked to be part of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board following the Columbia space shuttle accident in 2003.

Q: When did Sally Ride pass away, and what was the cause?

A: Sally Ride died on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61 due to pancreatic cancer.

Q: What was Sally Ride’s relationship with Tam O’Shaughnessy?

A: Sally Ride and Tam O’Shaughnessy were partners for 27 years, from 1985 until Ride’s death in 2012. Their relationship was confirmed by Ride’s sister after her death.

Q: What other interests did Sally Ride have outside of her space career?

A: Outside of her space career, Sally Ride was also a nationally-ranked tennis player.

Q: What educational institutions did Sally Ride attend during her early years?

A: Sally Ride attended Portola Junior High, Birmingham High School, and the private Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles on a scholarship.

Q: What specific scientific area did Sally Ride focus on for her PhD research?

A: Sally Ride’s PhD research focused on the interaction of X-rays with the interstellar medium.

Q: How did Sally Ride contribute to the design of the space shuttle?

A: Sally Ride helped develop the space shuttle’s robot arm, known as “Canadarm“.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar