Sally Ride dead at 61. As a female she really helped show the word that woman are equal to their male counterparts.
She will be forever remembered in the history books as the first female American astronaut to enter space in 1983. She is also the youngest American astronaut to be launched into space at the age of 32.
She was highly educated and completed her undergraduate and post-graduate studies at Stanford. Since she has a Ph.D, she is addressed as Dr. Ride in professional circles.
Imagine her outrage when she was asked at a press conference, “Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?”
Even with the then burgeoning Women’s movement, Dr. Ride still faced ridiculous questions. She was known as very level headed and managed to maintain her composure even when asked such questions as,
Would spaceflight affect her reproductive organs?
Did she plan to have children?
Would she wear a bra or makeup in space? Did she cry on the job?
How would she deal with menstruation in space?
She handled the media well and helped pave the way for women to pursue highly specialized technical careers
Dr. Ride was married from 1982 to 1987 to a fellow astronaut. Other than her work, Dr. Ride kept a relatively low profile regarding her personal life. To outsiders, most assumed she was a straight divorced women.
Sally Ride kept her sexuality a secret to the very end. In all her obituary’s we located, they note that she leaves behind her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy, her mother, Joyce, and her sister, Ms. Scott, who is known as Bear. Dr. O’Shaughnessy is chief operating officer of Dr. Ride’s company.
Interestingly or perhaps more tellingly, her professional profile on NASA, which includes a personal data section that includes her death, makes absolutely no mention of Sally Rides long time partner.
The NASA website does highlight some of SallyRide’s honors and awards,
Dr. Ride received numerous honors and awards. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and has received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle and the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award. She has also twice been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal.
Dr. Ride died after a battle with cancer. The legacy she leaves behind is immeasurable.
Rest in Peace Dr. Sally Ride!