On Her Way to Becoming the First U.S. Woman in Space, Sally Ride Was Asked Some Pretty Ridiculous Questions

Sally Ride passed away today at age 61. When she made her first space flight in 1983, she was both the first American woman and the youngest American to make the journey to the final frontier. Both of those distinctions show just how qualified and devoted Ride was, but they also opened her up to a slew of absurd questions from the media.

Journalist Michael Ryan recounted some of the sillier questions that had been posed to Ride in a June 1983 profile for People. Among the highlights:

Q: “Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?”
A: “There’s no evidence of that.”

Q: “Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?”
A: “How come nobody ever asks (a male fellow astronaut) those questions?”

Forget going into space; Ride’s most impressive achievement might have been maintaining her composure in the face of such offensive questions.

Read More: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sally Ride