From the ABC 7 Weather team

Sally Ride: NASA's First U.S. Woman In Space Dies

July 23, 2012 - 09:00 PM
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A female pioneer dies at age 61.  Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, passes away, leaving behind an incredible legacy.

June 18, 1983 - Sally Ride, aboard the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger's STS-7 mission, becomes the first American woman to soar into space. 

July 23, 2012 - Sally Ride, age 61, passes away after a 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer, but leaves behind an incredible legacy. 

Dr. Sally Ride is a pioneer for women and not only made her mark, in history, as the first U.S. female in outer space, but also went on to teach and motivate young women to pursue careers in science, math, and technology. 

Ride in the pilots chair monitoring the control panels on the shuttle Challenger, June 1983

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, in a recent statement,  "Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism – and literally changed the face of America’s space program".  Ride went on to complete a second shuttle flight in 1984, which would end up being her last.  She was assigned a third flight, but that one was canceled after the Challenger accident in January 1986. 

STS-7 Crew - First U.S. Female & First 5 Person Crew To Head Into Space

Ride left NASA in 1989 and went on to pursue her other passion - teaching and inspiring young women.  Ride joined the University of California San Diego as professor of physics and director of California's California Space Institute in 1989.  Later, in 2001, Ride founded Sally Ride Science to create quality programs and products that "educate, entertain, engage, and inspire".

Ride working alongside Anna Fischer: Fellow member of the 1978 astronaut class

Here's where you can read Dr. Sally Ride's full biography.  Ride broke a gender barrier and showed everyone the sky is not the limit. 

Here's to an incredible life and legacy.  Godspeed, Sally Ride.

Three days before the launch, Ride on a T-38 jet bound to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida
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