Sally Ride, First Woman Astronaut, dies at age 61…

 

Sally Kristen Ride, American physicist and a former NASA astronaut died yesterday from pancreatic cancer. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman, and the first lesbian in space.

On her first mission at age 32 she was the youngest American to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control.

During her career, Ride served as the ground-based Capsule Communicator (CapCom) for the second and third Space Shuttle flights  and helped develop the Space Shuttle’s robot arm. She was a member of the presidential commission investigating the accident on the Space Shuttle Challenger. According to Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of the technical problems that led to the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, Ms. Ride was the only public figure to show support for him when he went public with his pre-disaster warnings (after the entire workforce of Morton-Thiokol shunned him).

From 1985 until her death, Ride’s female partner was Dr. Tam E. O’Shaughnessy, a childhood friend who met Ride when both youngsters were aspiring tennis players. O’Shaughnessy became a science teacher and writer and, later, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Ride’s company, Sally Ride Science.  Their same-sex relationship of 27 years was revealed in Ride’s obituary released by Sally Ride Science and confirmed by Ride’s sister, who stated that Ride preferred to keep this information private during her life.

 

About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at www.897wshc.org) and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on July 24, 2012, in Announcement, event, history, News, Obits, Opinion, Science, Technology, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Sally Ride, First Woman Astronaut, dies at age 61….

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