RIP Sally Kristen Ride, Ph.D, Astronaut

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died today in San Diego, CA, after a 17-month struggle with pancreatic cancer.  She was 61.

From the press release from her company, Sally Ride Science;

 

SAN DIEGO, Jul 23, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Sally Ride died peacefully July 23, 2012 after a courageous 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment, and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless.

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.

In addition to Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years, Sally is survived by her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin, and nephew, Whitney; her staff of 40 at Sally Ride Science; and many friends and colleagues around the country.

For more information please visit www.sallyridescience.com .

More on Dr. Ride, here.

Also consider this an open thread.






127 replies
  1. 1
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I feel like being really cynical right now: Haven’t we cured all forms of cancer? Also, she’s not really that famous because we should have sent a robot into space instead.

    /cynic

    I’m glad she’s famous. I hope we get to send lots more people like her into space.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    She was the inspiration for many young women to pursue science careers. May she sing forever among the stars.

  4. 4
    foodriots says:

    Well that sucks!

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    Gone way too soon. How sad. She was magnificent.

  6. 6
    Wildcat12 says:

    What a shame. I attended Sally K Ride elementary, and we were known as the “Challengers.”

  7. 7
    karen says:

    Thank you Sally Ride for being a pioneer by opening up space for women. Unfortunately we’re no longer doing that.

    Since this is an open thread: I thought you might be interested in this John Cole,Tom Coburn is crossing party lines and donated $250 to John Manchin.
    Yes it’s a small amount but the fact that he’s crossing party lines makes me wonder if Manchin isn’t going to flip to the dark side.

    Also, my parents canvassed for Obama in Hicksville (Long Island) at a fair yesterday. Afterwards my father remarked, “I can’t believe how many people HATE Obama!” He told me that some of the people were really crazy, including one woman who said that Obama wants to chop up aborted babies. The only good thing about all that was that now when I tell my father what Obama is up against in Congress and how he has to pick his battles, he believes me and no longer questions why.

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Makes me very sad. RIP, Sally.

    Also infuriates me that there is (as of this minute) NOT. ONE. WORD. about this on either the WaPo or NYT front pages. More and more, I’m getting my breaking news from Balloon Juice.

  9. 9
    Libby Spencer says:

    Oh no. How very sad. She was one of my heroes. RIP.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    Oh, wow. One of my relatives trained her at NASA. I was always impressed by that.

    RIP and Ride Sally Ride.

  11. 11
    Soonergrunt says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It only happened a few minutes ago. I got an IM from http://www.breakingnews.com, went to Google, and checked three different sources, including her foundation and then updated the site.

  12. 12
    robertdsc-iPhone 4 says:

    RIP.

  13. 13
    tommyspoon says:

    @Wildcat12: So very, very cool!

    I always thought she had the best astronaut name. Heard her speak once at the National Academy of Sciences. Very smart and very personable.

    RIP

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    Oh crap, she was supposed to live forever, certainly not die this young. An inspiration to a gazillion American girls, and to dreamers everywhere.

    RIP Sally Ride.

  15. 15

    Thanks for inspiring us. Ride Sally into the great beyond.

  16. 16
    Ben Cisco says:

    What a fictional LT Uhura was to a generation of youngsters in the 60s, DR Ride was to a generation of youngsters in the 80s.

    RIP. Fair winds and calm seas.

  17. 17
    Punchy says:

    We wrote to her and other astronauts in the 80’s as a classroom exercise. They sent back signed photos, pamphlets, buttons, etc. They were like rock stars back then.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    There is no fucking justice.

    Dick Cheney continues to live, and a truly great American, Sally Ride, has passed on.

    There is no fucking justice.

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): My buddy, and ecology prof and former navy pilot lasted 6 months after diagnoses. I have one friend with anal and one with brain cancer right now.

  20. 20
    Gregory says:

    Damn. RIP, astronaut.

  21. 21
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Pancreatic cancer is awful, with still something like a 95% mortality rate, essentially unchanged over 3-4 decades. I’ve lost a couple of people close to me, so I know way too much about it. And it strikes people still relatively young and productive, late 50’s and early 60’s.

  22. 22
  23. 23

    RIP Dr. Ride, an inspiration to millions of young girls. May your galactic travels be pleasant.

  24. 24
    Joel says:

    Alex Cockburn, also.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): If you’d like to send Palin into space I’m all for it.

    When it comes to learning about the universe the Mars rovers have taught us more than every Shuttle mission plus every Mir mission plus every ISS mission combined. And the rovers cost less than $1 billion combined. Each shuttle flight cost about $1.5 billion.

  27. 27
    trollhattan says:

    @MikeJ:

    If you’d like to send Palin into space I’m all for it.

    Better be a solo flight, nomsyn?

    “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Sarah.”

  28. 28
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    Also worth noting: that it is utterly unremarkable that her partner is, in fact, female.

    Is this mainstreaming GLBT, or silencing it? Anybody wanna take a stab at answering, because I dunno.

  29. 29
    Beauzeaux says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Except in the case of a few forms of cancer (some childhood leukemia, a few varieties of breast cancer) treatment for cancer hasn’t changed (in a positive way) for several thousand years.

    One of the best books I’ve ever read is “Emperor of All Maladies,” a history of cancer anf cancer treatment. Everyone knows, I hope, that there’s no such thing as “a cure” for cancer. Nor will there ever be.

    IF we are able to avoid killing the planet, future treatments will involve treating the specific genome of your specific cancer. Cancer will always be with us but it’s possible for it to become more of a chronic illness of old age and not something that kills you outright.

  30. 30
    IowaOldLady says:

    Do you know the Ann Reed song “Heroes”? Sally Ride is one of the people named and justly so.

    http://www.kimball.k12.sd.us/H.....windex.htm

  31. 31
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @MikeJ: I’m most impressed with the Voyagers, which are still traveling and still transmitting data, nearly 35 years after being launched. I’d argue we’ve learned much, much more from them than from the Mars Rover.

  32. 32
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Beauzeaux: Oh, I don’t know. My mother lived almost 40 years after being diagnosed with and treated for ovarian cancer; my father died 8 weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I’d say there was a difference.

  33. 33

    @IowaOldLady: I love that song. The final section makes me tear up, and it’s just a list of names — but every one of those names carries so much weight.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Soonergrunt: In a way, though, that proves my point and vindicates my disgust with our MSM. I mean, if Soonergrunt, a part-time blogger, can capture a news item, check it out three ways, and get a post with comments up before the Times and the Post even mention it, why are those two sites even cluttering up my bandwidth? Isn’t what you did the very definition of what journalists are supposed to do as a matter of routine?

  35. 35
    Tony the Wonderhorse says:

    She was as close to wide awake as people get, may she find what she’s looking for

    I will eternally think of We Didn’t Start the Fire every time I see her name

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @Gin & Tonic: No doubt, vger is cool. Cost in 1977, $250M, or right at 1B in today’s money, and it’s at the heliopause. That’s 2/3rds the cost of keeping 7 humans 100 miles above the surface of earth for a week.

  37. 37
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    *sigh* How long until the *last* American goes into space?

    And margaret Mahy is dead too. So who’s going to be the third “inspiration to children” to die shortly?

  38. 38
  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Matthew Reid Krell: I think it’s mainstreaming, and I think it’s a Very Good Thing.

  40. 40

    @Gin & Tonic: I lost two beloved uncles (brothers) this last year, 9 months apart, to pancreatic cancer. My condolences.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: @Raven:

    Yeah, I was sure it wouldn’t be all that long, which is why I said “as of this minute” in my first comment. But thanks.

  43. 43

    @MikeJ:

    If you’d like to send Palin into space I’m all for it.

    If you want to provide her with a spacesuit for the trip, I’ll have to think about it.

  44. 44
    PeterJ says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Pancreatic cancer is awful, with still something like a 95% mortality rate, essentially unchanged over 3-4 decades. I’ve lost a couple of people close to me, so I know way too much about it. And it strikes people still relatively young and productive, late 50’s and early 60’s.

    There are different versions of pancreatic cancer, one where the prognosis is awful and a rare one where you can live for more than a decade with the correct treatment. Steve Jobs had the latter, but instead of seeking medical treatments he went with alternative therapies, and thus he lived far shorter than he could have.

  45. 45

    Twitter tells me Dr. Ride was a lesbian. I had no idea. Was she out? What a tremendous role model for other GLBT kids.

  46. 46

    @Roger Moore: I’ll happily let her wear her favorite suit that the GOP bought her in 2008.

  47. 47
    Comrade Luke says:

    Ichiro traded to the Yankees. Today begins a three-game series between NY and Seattle, in Seattle, and Ichiro will be playing for the Yankees. The only time NY will play here this year.

    Speechless.

  48. 48
    PeterJ says:

    @Southern Beale:
    Didn’t know about it, but it did jump at me when I read the press release:

    In addition to Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years, Sally is survived by her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin, and nephew, Whitney; her staff of 40 at Sally Ride Science; and many friends and colleagues around the country.

    So, I would assume that she was, but that she wasn’t vocal about it.

  49. 49
    mai naem says:

    WTF She was only 61. RIP.

  50. 50

    @Beauzeaux:

    Except in the case of a few forms of cancer (some childhood leukemia, a few varieties of breast cancer) treatment for cancer hasn’t changed (in a positive way) for several thousand years.

    I’m not sure if I’d agree with that. Cancer surgery sure hasn’t advanced very much, but both chemo and radiation are relatively new- much less than thousands of years- and they’re both still improving. Some of the new biologics and immunotherapies are very promising. And as a donor, I can tell you that stem cell transplants (marrow or peripheral blood) are for more than just childhood leukemia. My recipient was in her 50s, and some of the most exciting developments are in less aggressive conditioning regimens that let they give transplants to older patients.

    The big problem with cancer is still diagnosis. If you find cancer when it’s still a small tumor and it hasn’t spread, the chances of surviving are very good. If you don’t find it until after it’s metastasized, your chances are poor. The reason pancreatic cancer is so deadly is because it’s largely asymptomatic until it’s very advanced.

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Question: in Soonergrunt’s original post, did the title include Sally Ride’s middle name, or did he add “Kristen” later?

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @PeterJ: So I take it we can expect to see the WBC loonies picketing at her funeral.

  53. 53
    WereBear says:

    Sally is among the stars; my heart goes out to Tam.

    Losing a partner of 27 years is wrenching.

  54. 54
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Yutsano:

    She was the inspiration for many young women to pursue science careers. May she sing forever among the stars.

    For me, it was tech, but yes, she definitely was an inspiration for me when I had to fight the whole “girls can’t do math or science” stereotype in school.

    RIP, Dr. Ride, and thank you.

  55. 55
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Luke: Holy shit. Turned on the news. My gob is smacked.

  56. 56
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Agreed re slow NYTimes and WaPost response.

    Incomprehensible.

  57. 57
    schrodinger's cat says:

    What is the best software for cloning a hard drive.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Matthew Reid Krell:

    I would also say “mainstreaming,” and would vote for that being a good thing, though it’s not my call (what with me being straight and all). Most of the “outings” I’ve seen in the past couple of years have been met with a great big “meh,” by the vast majority of the people.

    I think it would take a really big and totally unexpected name coming out to cause much consternation these days. Like, 25-years-hetero-married Tom Hanks suddenly coming out or something like that.

  59. 59
    THE says:

    By the time Sally Ride made it into Space, in 1983,
    the Soviet Union had already flown two women.
    Valentina Tereshkova in 1963
    Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982
    So she was the third woman in Space.

    One with the cosmos, forever now, Sally Ride.

  60. 60

    This from twitter, don’t know how true it is cause there are no links to back it up but it is a sad commentary of our society.

    An uninsured critical #Aurora victim has $2 mil med bill. I’m glad the killer’s gun “freedom” is saved while we oppose universal healthcare.

  61. 61
    Citizen_X says:

    Per aspera ad astra, Sally.

    @MikeJ: @Gin & Tonic: Oh, for fuck’s sake. Completely different missions; they can’t be directly compared.

    I agree that robot probes should be used for as much space exploration as possible, but there are some tasks (more detailed planetary exploration, for instance) that require humans.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Beauzeaux:

    Except in the case of a few forms of cancer (some childhood leukemia, a few varieties of breast cancer) treatment for cancer hasn’t changed (in a positive way) for several thousand years.

    I dunno — my father-in-law was given six months to live two years before he died, so at a minimum we’ve been able to extend people’s lives beyond what was likely even 10 years ago. He had good quality of life until other health problems started cropping up about three months ago (he passed away on July 4th).

    He had a glioblastoma multiforme, which is pretty much the nastiest kind of brain tumor you can get because it’s malignant and often inoperable — as it was for him — because it’s hard to find all of the tendrils the fucking thing sends out. But Avastin and other chemotherapies bought him a lot more time than would have been possible before.

  63. 63
    Keith G says:

    Been around long enough to remember all of “our” human space flights. As five year olds, we played “astronaut”. When Guss Grissom and his Apollo 1 crew were killed, I was in tears. Astronauts were my heroes and later I was very proud about Sally Ride.

    She done good.

  64. 64
    kdaug says:

    Wonder if Dr. Ride had lived long enough to see this:

    http://www.photoguides.net/tim.....s-at-night

    She would have been right at home.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think it would take a really big and totally unexpected name coming out to cause much consternation these days. Like, 25-years-hetero-married Tom Hanks suddenly coming out or something like that.

    Or a still active professional athlete in a team sport.

  67. 67
    Yutsano says:

    @MattR: My personal prediction: the first out professional athlete will be a hockey player. There may or may not be a wave after that.

    (My ex was almost the first. But a gay defenceman weirded out the Avalanche too much. But this was in 2007.)

  68. 68
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Matthew Reid Krell:

    Also worth noting: that it is utterly unremarkable that her partner is, in fact, female.

    But won’t get survivor benefits or any of the federal benefits that normally go to bereaved spouses, thanks to DOMA.

  69. 69

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    What is the best software for cloning a hard drive.

    dd /unixnerd

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    @Keith G:

    Me too, I even recall Alan Shepard from when I was a wee lad: “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” He was always my favorite; Sally was never far behind despite the decades separating their first flights.

  71. 71
    MTiffany says:

    Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years

    Great Jeebus’ Ghost! St. Reagan of Perpetual Tax Cuts let one of those people into space?

    And BTW, to no one in particular, it’s DOCTOR Sally Ride. The woman busted her ass for that doctorate.

    +2

  72. 72
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Roger Moore: This is for my laptop that runs Windows7

  73. 73
    mechwarrior online says:

    http://mindymeyer4senate.com/index.html

    Did anybody see that yet?

  74. 74
    MattR says:

    @Yutsano: You mean the sport with the fewest Americans? Not sure if that is the reason, but hockey would be my bet as well. I think Brendan Burke showed that the tolerance is there in the NHL (even though he was neither a professional nor an athlete on the Miami University team when he came out). It may very well be that way for the other sports leagues but there hasn’t really been the same type of test case

  75. 75
    ThresherK says:

    @trollhattan: Or, just spitballing, how about Sarah Palin as a test case for the parameters in the classic story “The Cold Equations”?

  76. 76

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Try Norton Ghost. I’ve used it and been quite happy. It was easy enough to use, and it includes a bootable CD so you can mirror your system drive properly.

  77. 77
    Ash Can says:

    And now for a bit of good news: TPM is reporting that the DOJ has launched an investigation into Pennsylvania’s lovely and talented voter ID law. Keep your fingers crossed.

  78. 78
  79. 79

    @Yutsano:

    My personal prediction: the first out professional athlete will be a hockey player. There may or may not be a wave after that.

    I suspect that the first openly gay athlete in one of the big four sports will be somebody who was out as an amateur and drafted by a team that knew he was gay. I think it’s going to be easier for somebody who’s already out to work his way up than for somebody who’s already made it to come out while playing.

  80. 80
    Jager says:

    @mechwarrior online:

    Looking at her photos the old Argent song “Hold Your Head Up” came to mind.

  81. 81
    tybee says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    i’ve used Ghost on onesy twosies. currently the build engineers at our biz are using Altiris.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: I suspect it will be Tim Tebow.

  83. 83
    MattR says:

    @Roger Moore: IIRC, Andrew Goldstein is the only openly gay athlete to be selected in the draft of an American professional sports league (Major League Lacrosse).

  84. 84

    @SiubhanDuinne: It was in the original post.

  85. 85
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Roger Moore: That was kinda my thought, someone who is out in high school or college. I once mentioned to some young folk that I didn’t know anyone in high school(70’s) that was gay and out. They didn’t believe me.

  86. 86

    @schrodinger’s cat: I use EaseUS.
    You may also find free software from the hard drive maker. Check the website for the manufacturer of the destination drive. Seagate, for example, has free software, but that usually only works if the destination drive is a Seagate.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: OMG I hope you’re right! I would love to watch all the splodin hedz.

  88. 88
    srv says:

    One of the nicer astronauts i met. She semed so young, even back in 91. RIP.

  89. 89
    Raven says:

    Anybody know any fish taxidermy people?

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Soonergrunt:
    Thanks. Just me having a Moment, I guess.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I would love to watch all the splodin hedz.

    That was my reason. I have no evidence to support it other than karma.

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    RIP, Dr. Ride.

    she was one of my heroines when I was a little girl.

  93. 93
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Soonergrunt: Destination drive is Samsung.

  94. 94
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: Wait wait wait, did you bring that fish back with you? Because the airline excess baggage charges on that guy . . . .

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven: My uncle got some good ones done up here in WI. Is that too far away? If not, I can check and see who his dude was.

  96. 96

    @MTiffany: “And BTW, to no one in particular, it’s DOCTOR Sally Ride. The woman busted her ass for that doctorate.”
    I’m pretty sure I covered that.
    (checks the article again)
    Yep.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: No, I’m looking for a replica. They are pretty expensive and I’m not sure I’m gonna do it.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Soonergrunt: You did seem to mention it in the title.

  100. 100
    Raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The shipping is high wherever it’s actually made. Wouldn’t hurt to as, it’s a 120 lb yellowfin.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    Or a still active professional athlete in a team sport.

    Yep, you’re absolutely right. I’m not much of a sports fan, so I didn’t really think about that, but professional sports is one of the last bastions of official homophobia (possibly the last now that DADT has been repealed and the DoD allowed servicepeople to march in uniform in San Diego’s Gay Pride parade).

  102. 102
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: Yea, I want Dr. Sp 4 on my tomb!

  103. 103
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Raven: Sorry it’s taken so long to respond. That congressman who claims that we’ve cured cancer pisses me off even though I personally do not know anyone with cancer. I would love to ask him about her death.

  104. 104

    @schrodinger’s cat: Try this.
    Samsung and Seagate have a strategic alliance.
    http://drive.seagate.com/content/samsung-en-us
    Seagate DiscWizard should do the trick.
    Here‘s the help file/instructions, and you can download the program here.

    ETA–I created this comment while I wasn’t logged into the console, and it got sent to moderation for too many links. So I’m approving my own comment, which might be a conflict of interest.

  105. 105
    Raven says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Ah, time is a western concept!

  106. 106
    Steeplejack says:

    It’s not as dramatic as a definitive “cure,” but the Mohs surgery for skin cancer was developed in 1938.

    From Wikipedia:

    The Mohs procedure is considered the best method for treating certain types of skin cancer, especially of the head and neck, with cure rates approaching 100%.
    __
    [. . .]
    __
    During the surgery, after each removal of tissue, while the patient waits, the surgeon examines the tissue specimen for cancer cells, and that examination informs the surgeon where to remove tissue next. Mohs surgery is one of the many methods of obtaining complete margin control during removal of a skin cancer [and] allows for the removal of a skin cancer with very narrow surgical margin and a high cure rate.

    So that has improved just in the last 75 years.

  107. 107
    Narcissus says:

    I wish we spent our defense budget on space.

  108. 108
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Raven: Well, why not? It’s not like anyone would argue with you.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven: Email sent. I’ll let you know when I hear back.

  110. 110
    Don K says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I completely agree that a matter-of-fact mention in her obit is a BFD and a Very Good Thing

  111. 111
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t disagree with this. There are too many openly gay high schhol players now to not filter up through the college and pro ranks. One of them is going to make the stand.

    Note: we are talking males. There are several out and proud lesbians in pro sports now. Pardon my chauvinism. :)

  112. 112
    Don K says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Just a sign of how far we’ve come in not that many years, which I have to keep reminding myself of when I think of how far we still have to go. My partner’s youngest niece graduated from HS last year, and said that at her school (admittedly in an upscale town in NJ), being gay was no big deal, and if anything gave you extra “cool” points in the HS pecking order.

    During my time in HS (’68-’72) I was lucky that I was (just) butch enough not to be suspected.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: The SP4 was temporary!

  115. 115
    wobbly says:

    And she totally bailed on the Challenger investigation.

    Look it up, children!

    Why was that rocket launched that day in temperatures too low to let the O-rings function properly?

    Because Ronald Reagan was about to give his State of the Union address, and Christa was at the heart of it!!!

    Somebody from the White House called and it all went terribly wrong.

    Sally Ride deliberately covered up Reagan’s role in this and was rewarded with honors, money, or whatever people like her actually
    want.

    state

  116. 116
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    It figures some asshole would drop a turd in the punch bowl.

  117. 117
    OldDave says:

    @wobbly: The late Roger Boisjoly would beg to differ. After his testimony to the commission, he said that “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.

    “She was the only one,” he said in a whisper to a Newsday reporter in 1988. “The only one.”

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Mom lived about 45 yrs after breast cancer diagnosis, died of old age at 94. Sister did 6 yrs with 2 remission before she died at 66.

    I never know what to say about someone like Sally Ride passing. We all go at some point, a cousin died at about 9 months in his crib, his mom went about 3 yrs later in her early 40’s from congestive heart failure, leaving 4 kids.

    It is so nice that someone, in their too short life, made such a positive mark on the world and in doing so helped many kids head in the same direction.

  119. 119
    Cain says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Twitter tells me Dr. Ride was a lesbian. I had no idea. Was she out? What a tremendous role model for other GLBT kids.

    I suppose she would also be the first gay person in space as well. Another milestone I suppose.

    But more importantly, she was a symbol for women at a time when they were still struggling to find a equal place in society.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @wobbly:

    If that’s your criterion, then Richard Feynman and Neil Armstrong are equally — if not more — guilty in the “cover up” as Ride. You live in a sad, twisted world if you’re accusing Richard Feynman of pulling his punches to protect Ronald Reagan.

    And I’m not quite sure what “cover up” you’re referring to since, you know, they found the cause of the accident and NASA was forced to implement changes based on the report.

  121. 121
    Gustopher says:

    Her sister is named Bear Ride?

    THAT IS THE MOST AWESOME NAME EVER!

  122. 122
    Brachiator says:

    @Cain:

    I suppose she would also be the first gay person in space as well. Another milestone I suppose.

    This is not necessarily true. Who knows whether an astronaut or cosmonaut was gay among those who went into space before Ride.

    That said, Dr Ride was quite an inspiration. She died too young, but I am glad that she had a relatively long relationship of 27 years with her partner. One site noted that even though they got together in 1985, they first met when they played tennis (in San Diego, I think), when they were both 12 years old. This seemed so sweet.

    RIP

  123. 123
    greenergood says:

    My guess is that she quietly conducted her private life without public emphasis on teh gay because she had a very important goal in her life, which was to inspire girls and young women to do science. This meant doing outreach in schools, which were certainly not LGBT-friendly in the 1980s, 90s, 2000s. If her sexuality had been a big deal then, her mission in life (post-NASA) would’ve been stymied by public prejudice. Think of what happened to Martina after she came out, though now that is happily not really an issue any more. Sad as it is that it had to be after her death, LGBTs can claim Sally as one of us, while straight science women can also claim her as one of us, and it’s heartening to know she was in a loving relationship for many years before dissolving into atoms and rejoining the universe at its more basic and profound level.

  124. 124
    Skepticat says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    You’re an extremely rare person if you don’t know someone with cancer! I certainly wish that there were more of us. But I know more than enough people with cancer (and am myself a survivor) for both of us.

    I was especially saddened to hear of Dr. Ride’s death at such an early age. She was a great inspiration.

  125. 125
    sherparick says:

    Sad news regarding Sally Ride and much to young. It is 29 years since became America’s first woman in space, and of course for the ol’farts amongst us that seems just a moment. She was a spectacular pioneer for women (regardless what one thinks of the Shuttle program), as looking at press coverage of her in this wikipedia article demonstrates. http://cpol.army.mil/library/t.....6/toc.html

  126. 126

    @Wildcat12:

    …I attended Sally K Ride elementary, and we were known as the “Challengers.”

    That is awesome.

  127. 127
    wobbly says:

    I saw what I saw and stand by my post.

    If she reached out to roger in his last days, why wouldn’t she?

    They had both failed in their duties!

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