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    Posted June 15, 2011 by
    NASA-KSC, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The final shuttle

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    STS-7 Sally Ride's Challenger in 1983


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     technorican submitted these photos she shot on June 17 and 18, 1983, of the Shuttle Challenger carrying the first female U.S. astronaut into space. 'As a teenager I had wanted to be the first Puerto Rican astronaut at a time when women were not considered capable. I grew up hearing women had certain roles and their dreams didn't come true,' she said. 'Seeing the launch was a confirmation of what I had held onto -- women could achieve their dreams.'
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    There were various signs in1983 that proudly announced: "Ride, Sally Ride!"  At 7:33 a.m. EDT on June 18, Sally Ride, the first U.S. female astronaut launched into space. I had driven down from New Jersey to view this historic event. My hometown, South River, had a cable TV station and was looking for programming. There was no money involved. It was purely voluntary but I seized the opportunity to get in as Press at NASA-KSC.


    After the flawless launch, we had 6 days before the much anticipated historic first landing at KSC's new Shuttle Landing Facility. After a few days of touring, I returned for the big event. I spent the night looking for photo ops as I tried to stay awake. Fog wafted through the darkness as we eagerly waited. We tried to blow it away but the weather won. Challenger landed in California just before 10:00 a.m. PDT at Edwards AFB.

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