As the second American woman in space, Judith Resnik paved the way for the future of women in space exploration. Born in Akron in 1949, Resnik was a gifted student, achieving a perfect SAT score and earning a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. In 1978, she was recruited into the astronaut program at NASA. There, she completed a year-long training and evaluation program. Her first flight was as a mission specialist on the 1984 maiden voyage of the space shuttle Discovery. Resnik became known to the public for her sense of humor and weightless acrobatics. During one flight, she held up a sign reading "Hi Dad" and displayed a sticker on her locker advertising her crush on actor Tom Selleck.
In January 1986, Resnik was aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger as a mission specialist, when it exploded just 73 seconds after lift-off. All seven crew members died in the explosion.
Today, Resnik is honored by several awards, landmarks, and even a crater on the far side of the Moon. Her contributions to the field will not be forgotten.