|The crew of STS-7 eating jellybeans. (NASA)|
In 1982, NASA announces the crew for STS-7. Robert Crippen, the first shuttle pilot, will command. Frederick (Rick) Hauck, a TFNG member, will be pilot. The flight will be the first test of the robotic arm's ability to retrieve a satellite. John Fabian and Sally Ride are chosen as mission specialists.
Even though Ride has a Ph.D. and the same training as the men, some people think she has been picked just because she's a woman. Her shuttle commander, Crippen, disagrees. At a press conference, he says, "She is flying with us because she is the very best person for the job. There is no man I would rather have in her place."
Later, NASA adds medical doctor Norm Thagard to the roster. He will study space sickness. With five astronauts, the STS-7 mission now has the largest crew ever to fly in space.