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:
RIP, Sally Ride… God rest your soul.—
christi taggart (@christiannetag) July 23, 2012
Oh nooooo. Sally Ride has died. She was my hero when I was a kid.—
The Political Game (@politicgame) July 23, 2012
RIP Sally Ride. A true American hero. :-(—
Gedeon Maheux (@gedeon) July 23, 2012
RIP Sally Ride. Thanks for making my birth year awesome by being the first American woman in space.—
Nick Rafter (@NRafter) July 23, 2012
Oh, no…sad to hear that Sally Ride passed away. Very admirable and accomplished lady.—
Jena Tesse Fox (@JenaFox) July 23, 2012
Almost impossible to describe the impact that Sally Ride had on little girls.—
Kris Amundson (@kjamundson) July 23, 2012
Indeed. She will be greatly missed.
Politicians paid tribute to Ride as well:
"She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars."—President Obama on the passing of Sally Ride—
Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 23, 2012
Sally Ride ranks among the greatest of pioneers. I count myself among the millions of Americans she inspired with her travels to space.—
Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 23, 2012
We’ll always remember Sally Ride for her contribution to US achievement in space & promoting opportunities for women & girls in science.—
Steny Hoyer (@WhipHoyer) July 23, 2012
When Sally Ride launched, the whole nation lifted her up on a chorus of “Ride, Sally, Ride.” She will be missed.—
Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) July 23, 2012
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.