- Posted June 5, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Cultural census: Your self-portrait
I wanted to be the first Puerto Rican astronaut. I applied in 1978 when women were finally allowed to apply to NASA. I used to joke that they chose Sally Ride but that was misinterpreted as she was chosen over me. I was actually too short and too near-sighted to make it to step one. In 1983, I drove to Florida from New Jersey to view Sally Ride's launch on STS-7. She was the first U.S. woman to fly in space. In 1984, I moved to Houston to start my new job at NASA-Johnson Space Center providing software support for the flight controllers. I worked in the same building as the astronauts and flight controllers. I had several opportunities to meet astronauts from every U.S. space program. Sally Ride was one of those historic figures.