Sally Ride and John Fabian preparing to board Challenger (AP/Wide World)
Challenger lifting off for the STS-7 mission. (NASA)
It's 3:15 a.m. on a Saturday, but the crew onboard the space shuttle Challenger doesn't mind the early hour. June 18, 1983, is launch day for STS-7. At 7:33 a.m., the shuttle roars to life. White-hot plumes shoot from the reusable solid rockets. Signs urge, "Ride, Sally Ride!" A huge crowd cheers the launch of America's first woman in space.
As the shuttle
takes off, Ride is thrust back into her seat by three times the
force of gravity. The two solid boosters fall away and parachute
into the ocean, where they will be recovered for later use. After
about eight minutes, the shuttle's engines cut off.
do you think you would feel to fly in space for the first time?