Judith Arlene Resnik (April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986) was an American engineer and a NASA astronaut who died in the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger during the launch of mission STS-51-L.
Resnik was the second American woman astronaut, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor.
Judith Arlene Resnik was born to Sara and Marvin, an optometrist, in Akron, Ohio; her brother Charles was born 4 years later. She attended Hebrew school. A graduate of Firestone High School in 1966, she excelled in math and played classical piano. While at Firestone she achieved a perfect SAT score, the sole female to do so that year. She received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University in 1970, the year she married fellow student Michael Oldak. They divorced in 1974 because Michael wanted children but Judith wanted to focus on her career. She earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1977 at the University of Maryland. .