America says goodbye to our first female astronaut

Source: AP/NASA

Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel into space has passed away at the age of 61. One of the first female trailblazers in the world of Aviation and Aerospace, Ride has left behind a legacy of knowledge and inspiration. One of six women chosen to be astronaut candidates, Ride surpassed the others earning her place in history. Ride is still a constant inspiration to young girls all over the country. She had achieved many goals beyond even the space program. She was a physicist, president of her own company, author of five children’s science books and was a physics professor at the University of San Diego.

One of Ride’s last legacies was allowing middle school students to take their own pictures of the moon using cameras aboard NASA’s twin Grail spacecraft in a project spearheaded by her company.

“Sally literally could have done anything with her life. She decided to devote her life to education and to inspiring young people. To me, that’s such a powerful thing. It’s extraordinarily admirable,” said Maria Zuber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who heads the Grail mission.

Associated Press

May 24, 1983: Astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-7 mission specialist, straps herself into a seat in the Shuttle Mission Simulator during training in JSC’s mission simulation and training facility.
Source: NASA Johnson Space Center Collection

In this June 1983 photo released by NASA, astronaut Sally Ride, a specialist on shuttle mission STS-7, monitors control panels from the pilot’s chair on the shuttle Challenger flight deck.
Source: AP

In this June 1983 file photo provided by NASA, astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-7 mission specialist, communicates with ground controllers from the mid-deck of the earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger.
Source: AP

In this Aug. 29, 1983 file photo, astronaut Sally Ride poses at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Source: AP

In this July 28, 2009 file photo, former astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, with Jeffrey Greason in the background, comments during a public meeting of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, in League City, Texas.
Source: AP/Houston Chronicle

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