The first American woman in space will be in eastern Iowa this week to address a group of educators. Retired astronaut Sally Ride is keynote speaker for the Kaleidoscope of Learning Conference in Cedar Rapids on Thursday. Ride is a physicist, pilot and author who flew two missions aboard the space shuttle Challenger. The 50-year-old says her latest mission is to push young women toward careers in science and mathematics.Ride is now a physics professor at the University of California at San Diego. Her talk will focus on how she got involved in the space program, her experiences aboard the shuttle, and who will lead future endeavors.The shuttle Discovery landed last week after a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. Another crew is slated to blast off from Kazakhstan today. The two Russians and one American will be the first crew of the I-S-S and are scheduled to remain aboard for four months. Ride says this is an exciting time for NASA.The conference is sponsored by the Grant Wood Area Education Agency and is expected to draw more than 45-hundred people.
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