Sally Ride, first American woman in space, dies

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Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died Monday after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, her company said. She was 61.


“Sally 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,” read a statement on the website of Sally Ride Science, a company she started to help teach students — particularly young women and girls — about science, math and technology.

Ride flew into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983 to become America’s first woman in space. She took a second trip aboard the same shuttle one year later.

The first woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who orbited the Earth 48 times in 1963.

“As the first American woman to travel into space, Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model,” President Barack Obama said soon after news of her death broke. “She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars and later fought tirelessly to help them get there by advocating for a greater focus on science and math in our schools. Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve, and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come.”

Written By: CNN
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11 COMMENTS

  1. My son went to one of the two Elementary schools named after her (Germantown, MD). They have an excellent Learning Center for austistic students there. It’s interesting that she disliked the fame she later had and refused to become a ‘celebrity’ over it. Good for her, I say!

  2. Mustang Sally, guess you better slow your mustang down.
    Mustang Sally, baby , guess you better slow your mustang down.”
    You been running all over the town now.
    I guess you gotta put your flat feet on the ground.

    All you want to do is ride around Sally, ride, Sally, ride.
    All you want to do is ride around Sally, ride, Sally, ride
    All you want to do is ride around Sally, ride, Sally, ride.
    All you want to do is ride around Sally, ride, Sally, ride.”

  3. I remember hearing about her company to help students; I hope and presume this will continue to thrive as one of her legacies.  

    By coincidence, today is Amelia Earhart’s birthday.  From a plane to a space shuttle – we’ve come a long way, baby!  Who will be the first to boldly go where no woman has gone before?

  4. We really need a cure for cancer… and fast. Regardless of its potential “negative” impact on the medical business and in helping keep human population sizes in check, we must do more to rid the planet of this disease! Cancer should be no more a threat to us than the common cold. Even if one, just one, from the more than one hundred types of cancer could be completely cured (even at its most advanced stage), I’m sure more would follow.

  5.  I agree. I’ve also been reading commentaries that insist “What’s the big deal? It is irrelevant that she was gay,” which really piss me off. Sally Ride went into space at a time when public opinion was largely anti-gay, when gays and lesbians were thought to be social misfits, nature’s mistakes, failures. I wish, when I was celebrating that a woman was in space, that I also knew she was gay. It would have made life for me a bit easier.

  6.  

    At the time of her two shuttle missions, Ride was married to
    fellow astronaut Steve Hawley.  So in
    terms of the sexual “politics” for the record books, this might complicate
    matters a tad.

     

    Also – by all accounts, Ride was a very private person.  The after-the-fact news of her illness, for
    instance, came as a surprise.  By the
    same token, describing her as “openly gay” would seem to be journalistically
    questionable.

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