For the first time in her career, Kristen Stewart will lead her own TV series.

The actor has been cast as trailblazing astronaut Sally Ride in the limited series The Challenger, developed by Kyra Sedgwick’s Big Swing Productions.

In 1983, Ride made history as the first American woman, youngest American and first LGBTQIA+ person to travel to space. She passed away in 2012 from pancreatic cancer.

Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, as well as Stewart’s own production company Nevermind, The Challenger will be based on Meredith Bagby’s 2022 book The New Guys: The Historic Class of Astronauts That Broke Barriers and Changed the Face of Space Travel. 

In a statement to Deadline, Sedgwick said Stewart chose to play Ride in her lead television debut because she “became obsessed with telling” her story “from her own unique perspective”.

“She was so stunning in these pitch meetings and that was a huge part of why it has been so competitive. She’s so compelling and was so rabid about telling this story about an American hero who had to hide who she was, in that time,” she explained.

Sedgwick continued to praise Stewart: “Who better to play Sally Ride than one of the great actors of her generation? As they say in Hollywood, passion wins the day.

“Her passion for being an executive producer is vast. As dogged as we were about getting the script to her, she has been that dogged about getting it sold in the marketplace.”

Stewart recently garnered overwhelming critical acclaim for her performance in Love Lies Bleeding, a neo-noir romantic thriller following the relationship between a gym manager (Stewart) and a rising bodybuilder (Katy O’Brian).

Later this year, she will star alongside Steven Yuen in the post-apocalyptic romance Love Me and the road trip comedy Sacramento, also starring Michael Angarano, Michael Cera and Maya Erskine.