After a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer the first American woman in space has died at the age of 61. Dr. Sally Ride served as a mission specialist on STS-7 aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983. She would go up into space once more aboard the Challenger for mission STS-41-G.
She had planned to go up a third time, but was cut short by the Challenger explosion in 1986. After the accident, she headed up the subcommittee on operations for the Presidential commission investigating the incident. Prior to her space missions Ride served as ground-based Capsule Communicator for space shuttle missions STS-2 & STS-3 (the second and third space shuttle missions) and she helped to develop the robotic arm aboard the Space Shuttle.
In 1987 she left NASA and would go on to work for both her Alma mater Stanford (where she received her Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate) and UC: San Diego. Ride would start Sally Ride Science, a “science education company dedicated to supporting girls’ and boys’ interests in science, math and technology”.
Direct Geek has always been fascinated with Space and NASA. It’s a sad day when one the select few that has helped America’s space program passes away, even more so when that person was a pioneer. We here offer our thoughts and condolences to her loved ones.