We are sad to report that Dr Sally Ride, the first US woman to fly in space has passed away at the age of 61 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Having joined NASA in1978, the 32-year-old astronaut gained fame on her space shuttle flight aboard STS-7 Challenger in 1983 become America’s first female astronaut (she was the third woman in space). Dr Ride flew again on the STS-41G Challenger mission in 1984.
Dr Ride later served on the Rogers commission investigating the causes of the STS-51L Challenger launch disaster in 1986 which killed seven astronauts. She later served on the investigation panel for the STS-107 Columbia launch-induced re-entry disaster. Before that she had gained a degrees in English/Physics and went on to do a Masters and a PhD degree in Physics.
America’s first woman in space, Dr Sally Ride, admires the view from theSpace Shuttle Challenger’s pilot seat on STS-7. Courtesy: NASA
Having spent time on NASA’s strategic planning effort, Dr Ride left NASA to go to Stanford University in 1987, later becoming a Professor of Physics at the University of California in 1989. Dr Ride also wrote books for children encouraging to study science.