Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The End of the Ride

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The first American man in space and the first American woman in space are both gone; this is quite a sad day in United States history.

Sally Kristen Ride was selected in NASA Astronaut Group #8 in January 1978, which included the first six female astronauts. Ironically, this class of candidates was nicknamed "TFNG" -- which stood for "Thirty-Five New Guys".

Sally Ride
Left To Right in this amazing photograph are:
Shannon Lucid - 5 missions, first woman on long duration flight [Mir]
Rhea Seddon - 3 missions
Kathryn Sullivan - 3 missions, first American woman to perform EVA
Judy Resnik - 2 missions, perished aboard Shuttle Challenger
Anna Fisher - 1 mission
Sally Ride - 2 missions, first American woman in space

Those two missions were STS-7 and STS-41-G, both on Space Shuttle Challenger, and both with famed Commander Bob Crippen, in 1983 and 1984, respectively.

Group 8 NASA Astronauts
She was the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she founded in 2001 that creates science programs and publications for schools, with a particular emphasis on girls, and encouraging them in STEM careers.

Sally Ride was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1988, inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003, and in 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzzeneger presented her with a medal confirming her induction into the California Hall of Fame, located at the California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts.

Sally Ride and Arnold Schwarzzeneger
After 17 months of fighting pancreatic cancer, including surgery and chemotherapy, Sally Ride passed peacefully. She is survived by her 27-year partner, Tam O'Shaughnessy, COO and Executive Vice President of Sally Ride Science.

RIP Sally. And from ALL the girls, thank you for your inspiration.

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