University of California San Diego and the U.S. Navy Name a Ship to Honor Sally Ride

ship-350The United States Navy has announced that its newest research vessel will be named to honor Sally Ride, the nation’s first woman astronaut and a former professor at the University of California at San Diego. The R/V Sally Ride will be operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego.

As a seagoing laboratory supporting research and education, the new ship will feature modern research instrumentation to fuel scientific exploration, including mapping systems, sensors, and profilers that will investigate features from the seafloor to the atmosphere. R/V Sally Ride is currently under construction at Dakota Creek Industries shipyard in Anacortes, Washington. It is scheduled for launch in 2015, with routine scientific operations commencing in 2016 following installation of instrumentation and sea trials.

SallyRide-homepageSally Ride was born in Encino, California. She graduated from what is now the prestigious Harvard-Westlake School. As a teenager, she was ranked 18th nationally in junior women’s tennis. She enrolled at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania as a member of the tennis team but later transferred to Stanford University to concentrate on academics. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in astrophysics at Stanford. She became an astronaut after answering a want-ad in the student newspaper.

In 1989, Ride was appointed professor of physics at the University of California at San Diego. She was also director of the California Space Institute at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Professor Ride died in 2012.

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