Former NASA astronaut Dr. Sally Ride who was first U.S. American woman to go into space, has passed away on Monday at the age of sixty one. She had been fighting for seventeen long months pancreatic cancer.
“Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment, and love,” says a statement on the Sally Ride Science website, which announced her death.
“Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless.”
When she was thirty two years old she boarded the Space Shuttle Challenger. Ride worked at NASA headquarters as Special Assistant to the Administrator for long range and strategic planning before joining the University of California, San Diego, as a physics professor and director of the University of California’s California Space Institute.
“Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism – and literally changed the face of America’s space program,” says NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally’s family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly.”
Ride is survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy, along with her mother, sister and other family members.