Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space, Passes Away

Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died today, July 23, 2012. She was 61 years old.


Dr. Ride flew in space twice, first in 1983 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, then again aboard Challenger in 1984. She was the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a science education company that creates programs and products for students and teachers in elementary and middle school with a focus on encouraging girls. Dr. Ride was also a Professor of Physics (Emerita) at the University of California, San Diego. She received her B.S in Physics, B.A in English, and M.S. and PhD in Physics from Stanford University.

Sally died peacefully July 23 after a courageous 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment, and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless.

“Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism – and literally changed the face of America’s space program. The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally’s family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly.”

– Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator

For more information visit http://www.sallyridescience.com/.

“I didn’t really think about it that much at the time . . . but I came to appreciate what an honor it was to be selected to be the first to get a chance to go into space.” 

– Dr. Sally Ride, former NASA astronaut

(NASA/JPL video from July 2008)

Photo and video: NASA

Jason Major

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

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