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  Sally Ride, first US woman in space (1951-2012) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Sally Ride, first US woman in space (1951-2012)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-23-2012 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Sally Ride, first U.S. woman in space, dies

Sally Ride, the first American woman to launch into space and later a leading advocate for science education, died on Monday (July 23). She was 61.

Godspeed, Sally: Fellow astronauts, female fliers remember Sally Ride

The news that Sally Ride died on Monday (July 23) inspired many of her fellow astronauts to express their condolences and share their thoughts and memories of America's first woman in space.

Sally Ride Science statement
Sally Kristen Ride, Ph.D., Trailblazing First American Woman In Space, 1951-2012

Sally Ride died peacefully July 23, 2012 after a courageous 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. 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.

Sally was a physicist, the first American woman to fly in space, a science writer, and the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science. She had the rare ability to understand the essence of things and to inspire those around her to join her pursuits.

Sally's historic flight into space captured the nation's imagination and made her a household name. She became a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers and a hero to generations of adventurous young girls. After retiring from NASA, Sally used her high profile to champion a cause she believed in passionately — inspiring young people, especially girls, to stick with their interest in science, to become scientifically literate, and to consider pursuing careers in science and engineering.

In addition to Tam O'Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years, Sally is survived by her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin, and nephew, Whitney; her staff of 40 at Sally Ride Science; and many friends and colleagues around the country.

NASA release
NASA offers condolences on the passing of pioneering astronaut Sally Ride

In a space agency filled with trailblazers, Sally K. Ride was a pioneer of a different sort. The soft-spoken California physicist broke the gender barrier 29 years ago when she rode to orbit aboard space shuttle Challenger to become America's first woman in space.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism -- and literally changed the face of America's space program," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "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."

"Sally was a personal and professional role model to me and thousands of women around the world," said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver. "Her spirit and determination will continue to be an inspiration for women everywhere."

Ride's contribution to America's space program continued right up until her death at age 61 this week. After two trips to orbit aboard the shuttle, she went on to an award-winning academic career at the University of California, San Diego, where her expertise and wisdom were widely sought on matters related to space. She holds the distinction of being the only person to serve as a member of both investigation boards following NASA's two space shuttle accidents. She also served as a member of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee in 2009 which informed many of the decisions about NASA's current human spaceflight programs.

However, Ride's place in history was assured on June 18, 1983 when she rocketed into space on Challenger's STS-7 mission with four male crewmates.

"The fact that I was going to be the first American woman to go into space carried huge expectations along with it," Ride recalled in an interview for the 25th anniversary of her flight in 2008. "That was made pretty clear the day that I was told I was selected as a crew. I was taken up to Chris Kraft's office. He wanted to have a chat with me and make sure I knew what I was getting into before I went on the crew. I was so dazzled to be on the crew and go into space I remembered very little of what he said."

"On launch day, there was so much excitement and so much happening around us in crew quarters, even on the way to the launch pad," Ride said. "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."

Ride joined NASA as part of the 1978 astronaut class, the first to include women. She and five other women, along with 29 men, were selected out of 8,000 applicants. The class became known as the "Thirty-Five New Guys" and reported to the Johnson Space Center the next summer to begin training. Ride trained for five years before she and three of her classmates were assigned to STS-7. The six-day mission deployed two communications satellites and performed a number of science experiments.

Following that historic flight, Ride returned to space on another shuttle mission, STS-41G in 1984. The 8-day mission deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of Earth, and demonstrated potential satellite refueling techniques. She was assigned to a third flight, but transitioned to a role on the Rogers Commission that investigated the Challenger accident after that shuttle was lost in January 1986. When the investigation was completed, she accepted a job as a special assistant to the NASA administrator for long range and strategic planning.

Ride left NASA in 1989 to join the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, as a professor of physics and director of the University of California's California Space Institute. In 2001, she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science, to pursue her long-time passion of motivating girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math and technology.

A native of Los Angeles, Ride graduated from high school there in 1968 and enrolled at Stanford University. At Stanford, she earned four degrees, including a doctorate in physics in 1978. She also was an accomplished athlete who played varsity tennis at Stanford after being nationally ranked as a youth.

Ride received numerous honors and awards during the course of her career. Most notably, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award.

White House statement
Statement by the President

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Sally Ride. As the first American woman to travel into space, Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. 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. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sally’s family and friends.

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OV-105
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MrSpace86
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buckeyecal
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More and more bits of my younger years are fading. Sally's first ride took place 8 days after I graduated high school.

Ride in Peace, Sally

DSeuss5490
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posted 07-23-2012 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DSeuss5490   Click Here to Email DSeuss5490     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just heard the sad news that Sally Ride has passed away from cancer. I've met her at a couple of shuttle launches and heard her lectures. Wonderful lady and a true pioneer. May she rest in peace.

garymilgrom
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Blackarrow
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alanh_7
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garyd2831
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posted 07-23-2012 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garyd2831   Click Here to Email garyd2831     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just saw it on CNN. Thoughts and prayers with her and her family.

KSCartist
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posted 07-23-2012 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In June of 1983 I traveled to see the launch of STS-7 because my hometown's Bicentennial Medallion was aboard. It was a wonderful trip and my first space shuttle launch.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at Brevard Community College a few years ago for a Sally Ride Science event. It was a field trip for my Young Astronauts. She dedicated her life to inspiring young people (especially girls) to dream big and chase those dreams.

I'm sorry to say I knew this day was coming. I saw her on NASA TV Video File a few weeks ago. She was giving a videotaped presentation. I was shocked to see the familiar look of a cancer patient. I prayed that it wouldn't be this soon.

Godspeed Sally and thank you.

cycleroadie
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Rusty B
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Scott
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MattJL
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Godspeed.

MarylandSpace
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The news of Dr. Ride's passing saddens us all.

I was fortunate to meet Dr. Ride twice at the National Air and Space Museum — once at a book signing and once at a Space Day.

I admire her most as a promoter of space education to the children. You will be greatly missed.

MB
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SpaceAngel
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Ride was too young to pass away.

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FFrench
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As you will no doubt have heard, my last boss, Sally Ride, passed away today.

Sally was - and always will be - America's first woman in space. But that historic achievement wasn't enough. She is an inspiring example of how reaching one goal can lead to inspiring hundreds of thousands of others to reach their own dreams.

Though the company she founded, Sally Ride Science, she went on to launch the ambitions of countless (and I literally mean countless) young people in new careers in science, math and engineering. I saw kids who never thought they would have the ability to achieve in these fields reach remarkable, life-changing goals. In a day when her space legacy will be much discussed, it's important to remember that this was just one step in a remarkable lifetime of achievement. To the team of former and present co-workers I had when I was her Director of Events, my thoughts are with you on this difficult day.

Photo I took of Sally Ride's shadow and her jacket when we were doing a San Diego TV interview.

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history in miniature
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