From Ohio History Central
This photograph of Akron native Judith Resnik was taken in January 1978, when she was named an astronaut candidate at NASA.
Judith Resnik was born on April 5, 1949, in Akron, Ohio. She graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with a bachelor's degree in 1970 and from the University of Maryland in 1977 with a doctorate in electrical engineering.
Upon graduating from Carnegie-Mellon University but, while she was still pursuing her doctorate, Resnik accepted a position with RCA, designing circuits for phased-array radar control systems. From 1974 to 1977, she worked at the National Institutes of Health in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology. In 1978, she briefly worked for the Xerox Corporation, before being selected to join the National Aeronautics and Space Association as an astronaut.
As an astronaut, Resnik helped develop software for NASA's space shuttle program. On August 30, 1984, she flew into space on space shuttle Discovery's maiden flight, making her only the second American women in outer space. Her second space mission occurred on January 28, 1986. This time Resnik flew onboard the space shuttle Challenger. Tragically, the Challenger' exploded shortly after liftoff, killing everyone onboard.