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Monday, July 23, 2012

RIP Dr Sally Ride

1st U.S. female astronaut Sally Ride dies

Physicist was on space shuttle Challenger in 1983, 1984

Jul 23, 2012

Sally Ride, who blazed trails into orbit as the first American woman in space, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. She was 61. Ride died at her home in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla, said Terry McEntee, a spokeswoman for her company, Sally Ride Science. She was a private person and the details of her illness were kept to just a few people, she said.
One of Ride's last legacies was allowing middle school students to take their own pictures of the moon using cameras aboard NASA's twin Grail spacecraft in a project spearheaded by her company.
"Sally literally could have done anything with her life. She decided to devote her life to education and to inspiring young people. To me, that's such a powerful thing. It's extraordinarily admirable," said Maria Zuber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who heads the Grail mission. ...

Read the rest of a very interesting article about Dr Ride here.

Launching Into History

On June 18, 1983, a young physicist from California took her seat aboard the space shuttle and launched into history. On that date, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a mission specialist on STS-7. In this image, Ride monitors control panels from the pilot's chair on the flight deck.

Image Credit: NASA

Floating on the Middeck

Ride floats alongside Challenger's middeck airlock hatch.

Image Credit: NASA

(A picture series here)
Jul 23, 2012 by
The first American woman in Space talks about her historic flight on NASA's 50th anniversary. She flew aboard Space Shuttle Challenger in June 1983 on the STS-7 mission.

Dr Ride is best known as America’s first woman in space. She flew in space twice, first in 1983 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, then again aboard Challenger in 1984. While at NASA, she directed NASA’s first strategic planning effort, and founded and served as the first Director of NASA’s Office of Exploration. She is the only person to have served on the both the Presidential Commission investigating the Challenger accident and Columbia Accident investigation Board. Dr. Ride was a member of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology for eight years. She is a member of the boards of Caltech and The Aerospace Corporation, has received numerous awards, including the Lindbergh Eagle, the Von Braun Award, and the Jefferson Award for Public Service. She has twice been awarded the National Spaceflight Medal, and is an inductee into the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the California Hall of Fame. (NASA bio)

Soar through the heavens, Dr Ride.... 

[cross-posted from Assoluta Tranquillita]