Rest in Peace, Sally Ride: The First American Woman in Space

Sally RideSally Ride, the first American woman to enter space, passed away on July 23, 2012 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was a physicist — earning bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Stanford University — and a NASA astronaut.

She joined NASA in 1978 and was a crew member on two Space Shuttle Challenger missions, spending over 14 days in space. In 1983 on her first space mission, Ride was the youngest American to enter space. After leaving NASA in 1987, Ride continued to work in physics at Stanford University and then the University of California, San Diego.

Ride was also interested in science education and worked to inspire youngsters to pursue science, especially girls. She founded Sally Ride Science in 2001, an education company that works to help elementary- and middle-school students get interested in science. She also authored or co-authored several children’s books about space.

Be sure to read Sally Ride’s NASA profile and her biography, and check out her company Sally Ride Science.

Photo Credit: NASA


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