Sally Ride talks to ground controllers during the six-day Challenger mission. (Courtesy: NASA)
By James Dacey
Sally Ride, the physicist and astronaut who became the first US woman in space, has sadly passed away aged 61. Ride made history as a crew member on the Challenger mission that blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 18 June 1983. Ride was also aboard the 13th shuttle flight, STS 41-G, which launched on 5 October 1984.
In 1989 Ride joined the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics and director of the California Space Institute. In addition to holding this faculty position, Ride was also engaged in a number of other educational activities to encourage students to pursue careers in science and technology.
A statement released on her company’s website reads “Sally Ride died peacefully on 23 July 2012 after a courageous 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, joy and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless.”