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?