Sally Kristen Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died today after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.. She was 61.—
Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) July 23, 2012
America’s first woman in space has succumbed to pancreatic cancer after a long, courageous battle.
From Business Wire:
Sally was a physicist, the first American woman to fly in space, a science writer, and the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science. She had the rare ability to understand the essence of things and to inspire those around her to join her pursuits.
Sally’s historic flight into space captured the nation’s imagination and made her a household name. She became a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers and a hero to generations of adventurous young girls. After retiring from NASA, Sally used her high profile to champion a cause she believed in passionately–inspiring young people, especially girls, to stick with their interest in science, to become scientifically literate, and to consider pursuing careers in science and engineering.
Admirers took to Twitter to pay their respects to the trailblazer:
Indeed. She will be greatly missed.
Politicians paid tribute to Ride as well:
Unfortunately, not everyone was able to pay their respects respectfully. Salon’s Glenn Greenwald just couldn’t resist politicizing her death, using the fact that she was homosexual to make a jab at Mitt Romney:
Sally Ride deserved so much better than that. Greenwald should be ashamed.