When women were first allowed to apply to become astronauts, I submitted my application. I knew I was too short and too near-sighted to go far in the review process but I didn’t let that stop me. Sally Ride was in that first batch of applicants. She made it along with other a few other women to be the first to open the way.
I drove to Florida twice to watch 2 space shuttle launches. In 1981 I drove with friends from New Jersey to Florida for the very first launch. We were not close but we could see its beautiful flight towards out space! It was called STS-1 for first Space Transportation System mission with the Columbia as the vehicle.
Soon after, my town started a cable television station. It needed programming so I produced and directed the first TV devoted to the space shuttle missions. I ordered videotapes from NASA in Houston. I involved a couple of Princeton students to in introducing each segment.
In 1983, I drove to Florida alone to see Sally Ride’s historic launch. I represented my town’s TV station to get into the Press section for a closer view. I had a video camera for a personal recording of what I had dreamed of since a child. It was amazing to be an eyewitness to watch the first U.S. woman astronaut launch into space!