She had a presence, as I recall. One of those people you meet and remember. Sally Ride set an example for all of us. She especially set an example for young women all over the world, who watched her, as the first American woman in space.
June 18, 1983 she made history climbing into the shuttle Challenger. On that mission, she became the youngest American crew member too. Her second shuttle mission came a year later. She logged over 3 hundred hours in space.
But her time with us on earth was cut terribly short. She died yesterday at age 61 of pancreas cancer. As so many of us know, pancreas cancer is a very tough cancer to treat. Sally Ride’s cancer battle lasted only 17 months.
But while she was with us, she turned away from the celebrity of her accomplishments and instead went about the business of establishing the Sally Ride Science a non-profit in La Jolla, California. She wanted middle-school-aged girls to discover the wonder of science and technology. My guess is, she was looking for the next generation of young women to carry-on her legacy.
From all accounts, she lived with her cancer, the way she lived her entire life; quietly and with a lot of dignity.
She’s no stranger to heaven….those shuttle missions put her in a special place. May she rest in peace from above.