Sally Ride Willing to Fly Again

Associated Press

Astronaut Sally Ride, a bureaucrat in NASA's headquarters while the space shuttle is being fixed, said today that the space agency has done a good job and that she has changed her decision not to go into orbit again.

In the wake of the Challenger accident Jan. 28, Ride said she wouldn't want to ride the shuttle. But she said that's all in the past.

"I think NASA has done a real good job studying the solid rockets, studying the redesigns and doing the testing that would be necessary to get the space program back," she said on NBC's "Today" program.

"We needed to step back and understand what went wrong before anyone should be flying in the space shuttle again and NASA has done that," she said.

NASA is working for a post-Challenger first-launch date of Feb. 18, 1988. In the meantime, Ride--a two-flight veteran--is behind the desk surveying what will be required for manned missions to Mars.

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