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News outlets are currently reporting the death of Sally Ride (1951 - 2012), the first American woman in space.
Sally Ride flew aboard the Challenger in the year 1983 at the age of thirty-two, and also took part in a second mission to the stars. In total, Sally Ride logged more than 340 hours in space.
A pioneer in space and on Earth, Ms. Ride earned the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the National Space Society’s von Braun Award, and NASA’s Space Flight Medal. She has been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
A great American hero, Ms. Ride was not only a committed astronaut, but a professor at Stanford and a successful book author as well. The cause of death is being reported as pancreatic cancer, and Ms. Ride died far too young…at age sixty one.
Sally Ride will always be one of my personal heroes, and my heart goes out to her loved ones on this sad occasion. I hope those who remember and honor her take some solace today in the fact that Sally Ride lived a life of courage and curiosity, wonder and wisdom. She will be long remembered, and her place in history -- and in our hearts -- is assured.