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Interview with Astronaut Sally Ride and STS-7


Sound | 1980s

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  •  Call her Dr. Ride 
  •  On becoming an astronaut 
  •  Her experiences aboard the Space Shuttle  
  •  Other duties at NASA 
  •  The future of the Space Shuttle program 
  •  Her advice to kids who dream of being astronauts 
  •  Footage of STS-7, Ride’s first space mission 
  •  Commander Robert Crippen, a Beaumont native, leads the flight crew 
  •  The launch countdown begins  
  •  Ignition and liftoff! 
  •  View from the Space Shuttle Challenger. Challenger was the second orbiter put into service, completing nine missions. The spacecraft broke apart 73 seconds into its tenth, STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986. All seven crew members aboard died.  
  •  Ride communicates with Mission Control 
  •  Deploying the Shuttle Pallet Satellite, which conducted various experiments as well as captured video footage of the orbiter 
  •  Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston 
  •  Exercising in zero gravity 
  •  Initiating landing. STS-7 was scheduled to land at the new Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, but poor weather forced the mission to instead land at Edwards Air Force Base in California. 
  •  Touching down 
  •  Disembarking the spacecraft 
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This video contains raw footage used for a 1980s episode of The Kid Show, a local children’s television program broadcast on Houston’s KPRC-TV. The first segment features an interview with astronaut Sally Ride at the Johnson Space Center. She talks about how to become an astronaut and her NASA experience. Ride was the first American woman to travel in space, flying aboard two missions: STS-7 and STS-41-G. She retired from NASA in 1987. The second segment consists of NASA footage from the STS-7 mission. Launched on June 18, 1983, STS-7 was NASA’s seventh Space Shuttle mission. With Ride aboard, it was the first American mission to include a woman astronaut. Her duties as mission specialist included deploying and retrieving the Shuttle Pallet Satellite. The crew returned to Earth on June 24.
As the scope of the American space program grew, NASA’s Space Task Group realized it would need to expand into its own facility if it were to successfully land a man on the Moon. In 1961, the agency’s selection team chose a 1,000-acre cow pasture in Houston, Texas, as the proposed center’s location site, owing to its access to water transport and commercial jet service, moderate climate, and proximity to Rice University. In September 1963, the facility opened as the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). 
The Center became the focal point of NASA’s manned spaceflight program, developing spacecraft for Projects Gemini and Apollo, selecting and training astronauts, and operating the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. Beginning with Gemini 4 in June 1965, MSC’s Mission Control Center also took over flight control duties from the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As a result, the facility managed all subsequent manned space missions, including those related to Projects Gemini and Apollo, the Apollo Applications Program, the Space Shuttle Orbiters, and the International Space Station.
In 1973, the MSC was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson. (As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson sponsored the 1958 legislation that established NASA.) The Center continues to lead NASA’s efforts in space exploration, training both American and international astronauts, managing missions to and from the International Space Station, and operating scientific and medical research programs.