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Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

June 21, 2003, 7:59PM

Sally Ride inducted into Astronaut Hall of Fame almost 20 years to the
day of her historic flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, was
inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame today, almost 20 years to
the day that she rocketed into history. 

"When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of flying in space. Still
can't believe that came true," Ride told an applauding crowd. 

Ride, 52, also became the first woman to be honored at the hall of fame.
The ceremony was just a few miles from where she was launched aboard
Challenger on June 18, 1983, and she was introduced by her two-time
mission commander, Robert Crippen. 

"The Kennedy Space Center had more women dignitaries gathered here at
that time than I believe have ever been put in any one place before or
since. And in the media, the crew was known as Sally Ride and the
Others," said Crippen, NASA's first shuttle pilot, with a smile. He
noted that the four crewmen, including "yours truly, were proud to be
the Others." 

Crippen recounted how Ride, whom he described as a former California
valley girl and hotshot tennis player, went on to become an expert
shuttle robot-arm operator and flight engineer. 

"On that flight, this new inductee broke perhaps the world's highest
glass ceiling that had existed for more than two decades," he said. 

Ride, a physicist, flew in space twice and was training for her third
and final mission when Challenger erupted in the sky in 1986. She became
a member of the presidential commission that probed the shuttle
explosion and, earlier this year, joined the Columbia Accident
Investigation Board. 

Several hundred people, many of them tourists, gathered under an
overcast sky for the outdoor ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center
Visitor Complex. Soon after Ride spoke, thunderstorms swept through and
the speeches shortened considerably. 

Three other former shuttle astronauts were inducted into the hall of
fame on Saturday: Daniel Brandenstein and Robert "Hoot" Gibson, both
veteran pilots, and Story Musgrave, a celebrated spacewalker who helped
correct the Hubble Space Telescope's blurred vision in 1993. 

They join 48 other astronauts already enshrined at the hall, including
all of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz veterans. Of
the 52 astronauts, 11 are dead. 

The four new inductees were chosen by a panel of former space program
officials, aerospace journalists and others.

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