She took one great step for womankind and her legacy will live on. Sally Ride – the first American woman in space has died at the age of 61 after a 17-month long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ride became a household name after her ground-breaking achievement on the US Space shuttle 'Challenger' on June the 18th 1983. At the time she was just 32, and since her historic flight a further 42 women have blasted off into space too. She did her second trip the very next year, clocking up some 343 hours in space.

In a statement President Barack Obama paid tribute to her saying "Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars"

Like all astronauts Ride was picked because of her extraordinarily high-achieving background: she was an eminent physicist, she'd already written 5 science books for children, was president of her own company and was a former Professor of Physics at the University of California.

Family and friends say Sally never really enjoyed the limelight, but she devoted her life to encouraging young girls to achieve their full potential. And we're sure she'll continue to be a trailblazer for many more years to come.

Written & Presented by Marverine Cole