Astronaut Sally Ride's Secret Journey

New book chronicles the life of the first woman in space and her decision not to come out as a gay astronaut.
2:01 | 06/03/14

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Transcript for Astronaut Sally Ride's Secret Journey
Finally tonight the secrets of an mesh icon. Sally ride, America's first woman in space written by our former colleague and revealing mysteries no one knew. Here's ABC's Dan Harris. America's first woman astronaut. Reporter: Sally ride, the exuberant young physicist who became the first female in space and then spent decades inspiring girls to enter into science. During all that time in the spotlight, there was so much we didn't know. Including that she lived with another woman for 27 years. Why was she incision tent on priva privacy? If she had been openly gay she never would have been selected as an astronaut and the first American woman in space. Reporter: Former ABC news correspondent who first met sally ride covering the shuttle program has written a new biography. Revealing the secrets including the fact she couldn't resist having a meeting against orders from the state department with a Russian female cosmonaut at the height of the cold war. She had worn under her blouse a t-shirt she had worn on orbit during the flight and she said I would like to give you this. She said I would love that. Reporter: And later into the investigation of the challenge, it was ride that leaked a key document showing nasa management had prior knowledge of the faulty equipment believed to have led to the disaster. What do you conclude based on these things you learned? She was the person I thought she was but she was much more. Reporter: A public life that tonight has so many more private layers. Dan Harris, ABC news, New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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