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RIP - Sally Ride - first American woman in space dead at 61

B

biboy2012

#1
NASA photo taken in 1983 shows America's first woman astronaut Sally Ride, as she communicates with ground controllers from the flight deck during the six day space mission of the Challenger. Ride died on Monday after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, her foundation announced. She was 61
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#2
I saw the obituary last night. Several things stood out to me:

Sally was the third woman in space. The first was Valentina Tereshkova in 1963, a Russian, and the second was Svetlana Savitskaya, also a Russian.

Sally logged two flight missions on the Space Shuttle Challenger, STS-7 in 1983 and STS-41-G in 1984. She had trained and was scheduled for a third flight on the Challenger but that mission was scrubbed when the Challenger was destroyed on January 1, 1986 (STS-51-L).
She was appointed to the presidential commission that investigated the Challenger's destruction.

Roger Boisjoly was the Morton-Thiokol engineer who wrote a memo exposing cold weather weaknesses in the booster o-rings six months before the space shuttle Challenger exploded over Florida on Jan. 28, 1986. He later said he was sustained by a single gesture of support. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, hugged him after his appearance before the commission. Very brave considering that M-T had shunned him.

Twenty years after her first shuttle ride, Sally was appointed to the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She was the only person to serve on both investigations. That really had to suck to be investigating another disaster when you should be celebrating the twentieth anniversary of your first flight.

She was one smart woman:
BS Physics / BA English – Stanford University
MS Physics – Stanford University
Ph.D. Physics - Stanford University
 

Marc

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#4
Yeah, I saw that last night, too. I don't usually get very emotional about deaths, but hers was a bit of tear jerker. Really smart, capable lady.
 
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