Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rest in Peace Sally Ride

One of the biggest inspirations to women in the aerospace industry and the idol of all little girls who realized in the 80's that they too could become an astronaut, Sally Ride passed away yesterday at the age of 61 from pancreatic cancer.  For such a short life she accomplished a whole lot, most notably by being the first U.S. woman in space.  Breaking the gender barrier in the math and science fields has never been easy for women, to this day engineering is a male dominated field, but Sally was the pioneer who showed us all that it is possible.
She didn't stop there, though that is her most publicly known contribution to our society.  Sally was the only individual, not woman but person, to serve on the investigation committee for both the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters.  She founded NASA's office of exploration.  After she left NASA she became a Professor of Physics at the University of California San Diego and in 2001 she founded Sally Ride Science, an organization that supported and motivated children, specifically young girls, to pursue careers in math, science, engineering and technology.  She also co-wrote seven science books for children.  She's been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, the Aviation Hall of Fame, the Astronaut Hall of fame, and won numerous awards. Sally, you were an incredible person and you will be sorely missed.

(images from here and here)

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