Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, had died. According to her website, the 61-year-old passed away peacefully today after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. A physicist, former NASA astronaut, science writer, and most recently, businesswoman, Ride is most famous for her voyage on the Challenger shuttle, which launched on June 18, 1982. A statement from Sally Ride Science, the company she founded, is after the jump.
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.
Sally was a physicist, the first American woman to fly in space, a science writer, and the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science. She had the rare ability to understand the essence of things and to inspire those around her to join her pursuits.
Sally’s historic flight into space captured the nation’s imagination and made her a household name. She became a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers and a hero to generations of adventurous young girls. After retiring from NASA, Sally used her high profile to champion a cause she believed in passionately—inspiring young people, especially girls, to stick with their interest in science, to become scientifically literate, and to consider pursuing careers in science and engineering.