On Monday, America lost a hero, a role model, and our first female to travel into space. Astronaut Sally Ride made her first of two trips into space on June 18, 1983 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. At just 32 years old, she is also the youngest American to travel into space.
Today, there are 39 members (11 in the Senate and 28 in the House) who were serving the day Sally Ride made history back in 1983. Of those 39 members, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH09) is the lone female in the House (Sens. Mikulski and Snowe served in the House in 1983 and now serve in the Senate). Kaptur began her service on January 3, 1983, just five months before Ride’s trip. In an interesting tie to this week’s Election Insights, she is also one of the members who was involved in an incumbent versus incumbent battle this year solidly defeating Rep. Dennis Kucinich. (Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA30) began his House service the same day as Kaptur and is embattled in the best named incumbent versus incumbent contest this year: Berman-Sherman).
Sally Ride was the first of 45 female American Astronauts to travel into space. In 1983, there were 24 women serving in Congress; today there are 92 (17 in the Senate and 75 in the House).