I was going to post a little bit about our sun, but I couldn’t ignore the sad news today that the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, passed away at the age of 61. She died of pancreatic cancer.
Sally Ride was chosen for the space program in 1978, beating out 1,000 other candidates. On June 18, 1983, she became the first woman in space as she soared above Earth in the shuttle Challenger. As a mission specialist, she helped deploy satellites as well as work on other projects. She flew again the following year. Her third trip to space was cancelled after the Challenger exploded after launching on January 28, 1986. She worked as part of the presidential commission that investigated the devastating disaster.
She became the director of the California Space Institute at the University of California in San Diego as well as a physics professor there in 1989.
But she continued to be an inspiration to young women everywhere when, in 2001, she started her own company that created educational programs and products designed to inspire young women with an interest in math and science.
What’s most wonderful is that Sally Ride dared to go where no woman had gone before. She was an inspiration to many young women and her legacy will live on.