First US female astronaut, Sally Ride, passes away

Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, has passed away after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. She was only 61 years-old.

Ondeadline— 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.

A few years ago I had the opportunuty to speak with Dr Ride. For someone who soared above the clouds she was incredibly down to earth, super enthusiastic about science ed, and just really, really cool.


  1. magistramarla says

    It’s been a sad month for the US space program.
    Two great former astronauts have been lost in less than a month.
    Our military community at the Naval Postgraduate School is still mourning the loss of Captain Alan (Dex) Poindexter in a ski jet accident. Dex and his wife have been personal friends of ours for over a year, and I have had nothing but respect for Dex. He was the Dean of Students at NPS and his leadership is sorely missed.
    The loss of Sally Ride is yet another blow to the NASA community. I’m certain that Dex’s widow Lisa knew her, so I’m sure that this is tough news for her today.

  2. Crudely Wrott says

    I am so sad to hear this. I held Sally up as an example to my own daughters to show that there are no limits on personal achievements. They will be saddened too.

    Fly, Sally. Fly.

  3. gworroll says

    Gregory in Seattle-

    First known LGBT person in space. It’s possible others came before her that we don’t know about.

    I’d hesitate to label her a lesbian, unless her partner and/or family and close friends put that out there unambiguously. She may well have been bisexual. Or pansexual or polysexual. All we know for sure is that she was clearly not straight, and sexuality is *not* an either/or thing.

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