Speak Out: Where Were You When Astronaut Sally Ride Rode Into Space?

The first American woman in space died today after a battle with pancreatic cancer.


Best known for being the first American woman in space, Sally Ride died today in her home in La Jolla, CA after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, according to her company, Sally Ride Science.

She was 61-years-old.

Ride became a role model for girls all around the country when she rode the space shuttle Challenger into space on June 18, 1983 as a mission specialist,

Locally, and in Germantown are named after Ride.

"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."

She famously began her career in space when she answered an ad placed by NASA seeking astronauts, while working on her PhD in physics at Stanford University.

In 1987 Ride left NASA and returned to Stanford where she founded Sally Ride Science in 2001, an organization dedicated to encouraging “young girls and boys to stick with their interests in science and to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” according to the website.

President Barack Obama called Ride, who founded Sally Ride Science, "a national hero and a powerful role model."

Was Sally Ride a role model for you? Where were you when her space shuttle launched?

Jenni Pompi July 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I was just a wee girl (5-years-old) when Ride went on her first space mission, but I remember thinking that if she could go to space, I could go anywhere. Thanks, Sally.
Laura L Thornton July 24, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Yes, most definitely! I've often found it hard to get initially interested in something that has little representation by women. Politics, for example, were very boring to me when I was growing up, because there were so few women politicians - most, if not all, of the politicians I saw on TV were men. But, I was 3 years old when Sally Ride went into space, so I've been hearing about her all my life. That - and my dad's passion for astronomy - has kept me interested in astronomy and science in general.
Kwame M Joseph July 24, 2012 at 04:47 AM
I love all things science, anything related to space and that's just the tip of the iceberg....I'm a sucker for fascination.
James McDonough July 24, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I was a Navy Lieutenant on an aircraft carrier in '83 when Challenger flew. I was at the Philadelphia Naval Yard in Jan '86 when it blew-up on launching. Gee I feel old!
Sean R. Sedam July 24, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I was just finishing kindergarten at Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary when Sally Ride made history.


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