Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sally Ride, First American Woman to Travel in Space, Dead at 61.

Sally Ride, the former astronaut who went where no American woman had ever gone before her, passed away Monday at age of 61. Ride's family members said that she had finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer after battling the disease for 17 months. President Obama called Ride "a national hero and a powerful role model...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." Ride broke the glass ceiling for American women in space by journeying on space shuttle Challenger in 1983 and then travelled again on Challenger one year later.
Ride joined NASA in 1978 after having earned four degrees at Stanford University including a doctorate in physics. After leaving the program, Ride joined the faculty of University of California, San Diego and authored several books. The website of Sally Ride Science, a company she started to help teach students, said about her, "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." She is survived by her longtime partner, Tam O'Shaughnessy, her mother, her sister, and other family members.

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