Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: On the Peace Train
RIP, Sally Ride
Sally Ride, astronaut who rode into history, dead at 61 of pancreatic cancer
Sun-Times News Services July 23, 2012 4:28PM
Updated: July 23, 2012 4:38PM
Pioneering astronaut Sally Ride — the first American woman in space — died Monday in La Jolla, Calif., after fighting pancreatic cancer for 17 months, according to the company she founded, Sally Ride Science. She was 61.
Ride, who was a physicist, became a household name and a symbol for young girls nationwide when she rode the space shuttle Challenger into space as a mission specialist on June 18, 1983, soaring into history.
“The thing that I’ll remember most about the flight is that it was fun,” Ride once told an interviewer. “In fact, I’m sure it was the most fun I’ll ever have in my life.”
She’d become an astronaut after answering an ad placed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1977, while a Ph.D. candidate in physics at Stanford University.
After leaving NASA in 1987, she returned to Stanford and, in 2001, founded Sally Ride Science, where she worked to encourage “young girls and boys to stick with their interests in science and to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”
She also wrote seven science books for children. She is survived by Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years; her mother, Joyce; and a sister, Bear.