(Photo: Wikimedia Commons / National Archives)
Sally Ride, seen here aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, has died at age 61.
Sally Ride, the first American woman to slip "the surly bonds of Earth" and fly in space, died Monday after a 17-month bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 61.
Ride, who held a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. She worked in ground-based communications before serving as a crew member aboard two Space Shuttle Challenger missions in 1983 and 1984. She also served on the presidential commission that investigated the 1986 Challenger disaster.
In 2001, Ride founded Sally Ride Science, a company aimed at encouraging girls and young women to pursue science, math and technology careers.
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"Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless," Sally Ride Science said in a statement Monday.
Ride is survived by Tam O'Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years; her mother Joyce; her sister Bear; her niece Caitlin; and her nephew Whitney.
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