Sally Ride was perhaps best known as the first American woman in space, but that was only one of her accomplishments.
Ride was the only person who served on investigative commissions for the Space Shuttle Challenger and Space Shuttle Columbia accidents, according to NASA. She was also an advocate for improving science education and founded Sally Ride Science. The company's mission is to inspire more girls and young women to go into science, math and technology.
The White House issued a statement calling Ride a "national hero and a powerful role model."
She died Monday at 61 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Share your tributes to the late Sally Ride with iReport, or in the comments below.
Sally Ride will not be forgotten.
RIP, Dr. Ride. You were a brilliant scientist, astronaut, and teacher. Like Captain Alan Poindexter, another hero is gone. But neither shall be forgotten.
Sally Ride broke the glass stratosphere.
Thank you Sally, for being such an inspiration to so many for so long. My condolences to her partner and family.
God's speed Sally Ride!!! You've done all peoples proud!!!
As a Girl Scout, I understand the importance of a strong female role model. Sally Ride has inspired me to break stereotypes, especially those pertaining to math and science. She even got me interested in a career in aerospace engineering. I mourn the loss of such a strong woman. Rest in peace. Women like her can never be replaced.
Marina, Loved you post. Sally: You broke more barriers for women than you are given credit for, especially for gay women. Tam, my condolences to you as well as to Sally's Family. You inspired a generation of girls and young women Sally.... God's Speed Sally Ride. I will always love, respect and miss you... and mourn your crossing to the next adventure of the soul....
An exceptional woman! may your flight forever soar above us!
RIDE SALLY RIDE.......to the heavens and beyond.
While she was still at Stanford, Sally took the initiative to become a guest observer on the Small Astronomy Satellite-3, run by MIT. As the post-doc who devised the soft x-ray detectors she would use, I got to know her as soon as she came to MIT. She was extremely bright, energetic, and very likable. I was thrilled when she became an astronaut, and thought she was perfectly suited to the job. We will all miss her greatly.
What a gracious, passionate, courageous life she lived. What an inspiration for us all, especially girls & women! So many of us have admired her achievements & spirit for all of our lives. We feel as if we were launched with her in 1983. Then and now she will always be in our & our daughters' hearts.
Hi guys, thank you all for the great comments! My name is Nicole Saidi and I am a writer/producer with CNN.com, and I work with readers' posts. We shared a few of our favorites (couldn't pick them all!) in the latest post on the blog, along with tweets: http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/24/twitter-remembers-sally-ride/
I would also encourage you to share your story on CNN iReport because it looks like a lot of you have great memories: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-819046
I am sorry to hear of your passing. You were always a hero of mine. I wish the best to your loved ones, and I hope that you rest in peace.
In the mid-70s Sally came to speak at my all-girl high school- as young and excited as she appears in the photo on this page. She was just a few years older than us- cool, pretty, smart, and taking on a "man's world". I asked her for her autograph that day. Over the years her autograph has turned up in various drawers, carried with me through various relocations, and I've remembered her and will remember her fondly and with pride on behalf of all women.
A true American hero and inspiration to all. Prayers to the family
I had no idea she was gay. Why keep it secret during life then reveal it at death?
Because it meant nothing as far as what she did, but is an integral part of who she was.
It is such a terrible thing....death....but only to the living.
Rest in Peace, Sally. We'll always miss you.
You were a childhood hero and inspiration. I stayed home when I was 9 years old to watch the first woman go to space and it altered the course of my life. I graduated with a degree in astrophysics and have been active in the space community my entire adult life in large part because her actions and courage let me know that getting to space was a real possibility – and it is now, more than ever. I hope she died having some idea of the extent to which she had a positive impact in the lives of others. Thank you!
Here's my tribute to Sally Ride, a collection of her best pictures: http://teleportd.com/capsule/9e7f9b4d3b6a1c36f9efb9fcb577ea5ea290b6d1
My kondolase to the family by miss Sally Rides death.
She was and will be for ever an inspiration for all people involved with science education and space exploration.
Ride, Sally, Ride! I know you're enjoying being in the heavens full-time now!
Ride, Sally, Ride! I know you're loving being in the heavens full-time now!
Vaya con Dios Ms. Ride.
Thank you Dr. Ride; you were my role model. I was given a poster of you on my 6th birthday. You autographed it to me when I was 12. It hung on my wall all through high school, my college sorority house, grad school and I hung my stole next to it after earning a doctorate in physics. Today when I heard, I brought the poster home from my office and gave it to my 6 year old daughter. You inspired me to fight, to strive and to achieve. Thank you for inspiring my life Dr. Ride.
As a child I just remember seeing her and never having a doubt in my mind that I could be a scientist and that women could do whatever we set our minds to do. (I am a research scientist now.) I never realized that this was a such a drastic change from generations before us. She did it; We saw her do it; It would be natural that we would do and be like her. Thank you for your tremendous example, Dr. Ride!
I helped launch Sally on two STS missions,
One of the things that we must remember about Sally Ride is this; she wasn’t just the first American woman launched into outer space, she had a Doctorate Degree in Physics. I don’t intend to impugn Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman launched into outer space, but Sally’s position on STS 7 wasn’t a political stunt, but an assigned necessary position that happened to be filled by a qualified trained woman. Her life and work is not only exemplary to women, but to people of all walks of life…
Thank you for making this distinction... As a little girl, I only saw a woman getting onboard the shuttle – but as a woman of science myself today – I appreciate knowing she had earned her place according to her skills and intelligence and not simply because of her gender...
Sally, now your wings will take you across the universe....
Sally was such an inspiration to so many of us! I decided to serve my country and was hugely fortunate to be selected as one of the 1st 6 women selected to go straight from college into pilot training. I had my wings in 1980, and when Sally blasted off in 1983, I knew what I wanted to do. Although I was too early to get a chance to go to test pilot school and become a pilot astronaut, Sally's time in space was clearly the inspiration for many of us. I'll always remember and cherish Sally Ride's bravery and accomplishments!
Asima "Sam" Syed
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Ride for four years. She was the role model of a professional woman of integrity, honesty, and fair-mindedness, and she blended this with a sense of humor and genuine passion. I came away from the experience knowing I had a life changing experience, and it is her standard by which I move ahead as a woman professional. I also came away from the experience with a new phrase, "even as we speak". You reached for the stars Sally, and now you dwell among them. Enjoy the new adventure.
To Dr. Ride – Sally as we all came to refer – Thank you for having lived your fantastic life during part of mine. Deepest condolences to her partner and family. It is unfortunate that we post these comments after we lose such people. There ought to be a way when only time remains, that we can share our appreciation with those we never met and let them know they made a difference. Rest in peace. And peace to her loved ones.
P.S. Sad it took an additional 20 years after another country for the US to have a woman in space.
Sometimes it seems the ones that are the most important to the future of this planet are the ones taken much to soon. I worked the space program Gemini to the Shuttle. I watched her fly with pride. I wish you could have stayed longer Sally.
RIP Sally..........we'll see you in Madrid.............
She is not dead –
But only flying higher,
Higher than she's flown before,
And earthly limitations
Will hinder her no more.
There is no service ceiling,
Or any fuel range,
And there is no anoxia,
Or need for engine change.
Thank God that now her flight can be
To heights her eyes had scanned,
Where she can race with comets,
And buzz the rainbow's span.
For she is universal
Like courage, love and hope,
And all free, sweet emotions
Of vast and godly scope.
And understand a pilot's Fate
Is not the thing she fears,
But rather sadness left behind,
Your heartbreak and your tears.
So all you loved ones, dry your eyes,
Yes, it is wrong that you should grieve,
For she would love your courage more,
And she would want you to believe
She is not dead.
You should have known
That she is only flying higher,
Higher than she's ever flown.
(Elizabeth MacKethan Magid, 1944)
Love this, she will be greatly missed! You touched my heart with your words just as Sally touched mine with her inspirational work! :-)
I had the honor of meeting Dr. Sally Ride in 2001 while I was working with Hewlett Packard's Digital Village in Baltimore Maryland. She and I met and discussed the opportunity to reach a number of young women living in East Baltimore with one of her science festivals in northern Virginia. I remember how excited she was to have speakers and children participate from the East Baltimore community. I was taken by Dr. Ride's genuineness, her interest in bringing diversity to her science education, and her down to earth manner. She had so much presence. I feel so honored to have met her and to have worked with her. I have recently been working with the American Cancer Society as her loss to pancreatic cancer touches the work we do every day. God Bless You Sally Ride. Thank you for helping young woman open their eyes to the wonder of science, Sally Ride. And thank you for being so kind and generous in your work with us. God bless your family. And may you rest in peace. I am so lucky and blessed to have met you.
Thank you for being such a positive role model and an inspiration! You were my childhood hero and I was blessed to have the opportunity to meet you a few years ago. That was one of the greatest experiences of my life! May you rest in peace. I think the stars are shining a little brighter tonight in your honor.
Such courage and grace! Go Sally Go! Rest in Peace while you touch the face of God!
Great tears fall from my eyes, for one of the most amazingly inspirational women in the history of spaceflight, and indeed, in America. Prayers to all of Ms. Ride's family. She will be so very missed. May her inspiration to little girls to take up science, mathematics, engineering, and the goal and value of attaining higher education live on forever. Such a very sad, sad day.
Rest in the arms of The Lord, Sally ! You did have such a full life and a first class ride !! Thanks for your example and your contributions to the youth of our country ..... Especially, girls who needed your mentoring and positive example ..... To your Family, may all the wonderful memories and your past love comfort them at this time of sorrow ......
RIDE SALLY RIDE
A female that made marks in history,
In science, math, and mystery.
Who suffered more than any should,
Beaten by the illness that sadly would,
Inevitably come creeping to claim her,
I tribute these weighted words further.
She in her brave shuttle of fate,
Black diamond upon golden plate.
She the supernova of femininity,
Grasped sparkling stars indefinately.
In her success of her true mission,
I write words now for a lost remission,
For Sally Ride left with preternatural pride,
A gift that rides the tide many fear inside!
A wonderful poem, and fittingly powerful tribute to one of the most amazingly inspirational women in the history of spaceflight, and indeed, in America. Prayers to all of Ms. Ride's family. She will be so very missed. May her inspiration to little girls to take up science, mathematics, engineering, and attain higher education live on forever.
Hope you know how very proud you made all of us!!!! God speed Sally Ride!!!!
Sally, you were a friend and heroine. I still have the astronaut gorilla you gave me and will pass it along to my grand daughter if I have one. People haven't really mentioned the work you did with young women through your foundation, but that was a wonderful accomplishment.
Ya done good, Sally! Rest in peace.
FLY AMONG THE STARS SALLY... WITHOUT LIMITS. RIDE SALLY RIDE..... REST IN PEACE...
MAY THE SOLAR WINDS ALWAYS BE IN YOUR SAILS.....
Good ride, Miss Ride...
Rest in Peace Sally
Rest in Peace, Sally.
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Thank you for being a true inspiration for my life.
Sally Ride was always one of my heroes, but I only learned moments ago that she was also part of the LGBT community. A big thank you to Sally Ride's family for sharing this in her obituary and giving gay and lesbian young people across the country another wonderful role model to look up to. My condolences to her partner of 27 years, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy.
Sally – We'll always miss you. Thank you for inspiring all of us young girls that our dreams to reach the cosmos can be reached.
I have admired Sally Ride from the day I learned of her existence. She exemplified the very best of human achievement in her personal accomplishments, and she worked constantly to improve the lot of girls and younger women studying in science and mathematics fields. There are so many girls and women in math and science today who can trace their success to her example and her enthusiasm. It is a very sad day as we mark Sally Ride's death, and I send my heartfelt condolences to everyone who loved and admired her. She was, indeed, one of the very brightest stars in her field, and her death leaves a void that no one individual can hope to fill.
I hope Sally's family reads all these wonderful testimonials. I never met Sally, but I remember watching her on TV preparing for her first shuttle launch. WOW, I thought. She has a PhD in physics. And now I think.....WOW, she accomplished a lot. Pancreatic cancer is a terrible diagnosis. I'm truly sorry she had to fight that losing battle. Respectfully, rip.
When my daughter was 10 years old she learned about Sally Ride in school and announced that she wanted to be an astronaut. Even though females in my family had not even gone to college much less graduate, my daughter just completed a BA degree at Harvard in Astrophysics, doing summer internships at NASA. She plans to go on and get a PhD and still wants to be an astronaut. Thanks Sally, you have changed so many lives for the better.
Sally was a trailblazer for females in space. She made a name for herself both in space and on the ground. I was so devastated when I heard about her passing. Sally's place in history is secured. Sally will be sorely missed. God Speed Sally!
&hearts mam! peace
Thanks for the light side and the music as part of Sally's tribute !!!!
God Speed to you Sally! You will be remembered forever!
When I was in graduate school at Stanford, Sally was a teaching assistant for a first year course I took. I recall how incredibly smart, nice, and just astoundingly-talented she was. She got a PhD in Physics from Stanford, could have (and I think actually did) play on the women's pro tennis circuit, was a great volleyball player at Stanford, and went on to do such amazing things. It's a huge loss to the country, to science, and to American youth. But she did it all, and then some, and inspires all of us to literally and figuratively reach for the stars.
What a terrific lady. Rest in peace.
She was a great lady. A gift from God.
A great tribute to a great lady would be if they renamed the "International Space Station" to "The Sally Ride". or name one of the star ships in the Up coming Star Trek movie to "The Sally Ride" or dedicate the move to Sally Ride.
RIP Sally Ride. You have been my IDOL for a long Long Time.
RIP Sally Ride!!!!!! Beautiful lady, such charisma and personal warmth on TV interviews, and literally out-of-this-world talented and bright! She is one of the giants whose shoulders many women today stand on, whether we're astronauts or not. Well done, Sally, and rest well now.
She is my original childhood heroine. She inspired me to want to be a mission specialist for a large part of my childhood. I dared to dream about a career in space and went to Space Camp twice because of her. I had no idea that she was that sick. My heart is broken today for the loss, but now Sally is free to fly forever. Godspeed, Sally. You are an amazing inspiration. R.I.P
Ms. Ride and I attended Taft High School in Woodland Hills, CA, although I graduated more than 10 years later than she did. But our school hallway had a tribute to her and I passed by it every day. Over the years I thought of her and our high school and how fortunate we Americans are and the incredible opportunities we are given. . We all are given the opportunity to reach the stars. Some do and some don't. I am glad Sally and I made the most of our free education.
My husband Art and I married June 18, 1983. In our wedding book, I kept the Washington Post news story - dated June 18, 1983 - about America's first woman in space. Sally Ride was an inspiration to so many women and men for her courage in space and on the ground, advancing humanity's scientific knowledge and breaking barriers. She proved that with determination women could do anything. May she continue to inspire future generations.
Sally Ride was my role model for the majority of my life. As a kid, I wrote several reports on her, I owned a book and a movie about her, I went to her science fair seminars, and she inspired me to go to Space Camp twice. I met her a number of times and she was always very friendly, encouraging, and motivating– a wonderful, intelligent woman. I went on to pursue an astronomy degree in college– largely because people like her inspired me to look into the field in the first place. Sally meant so much to me and it absolutely breaks my heart to read that she has passed away. Thank you for what you did for girls' science education– you made an enormous impact in my life.
I am so saddened by the tremendous loss of such an iconic and empowering American hero. In a society that always seems at such a loss for positive and inspiring role models for women, Dr. Ride was certainly in a league all her own. She inspired me to become an educator and to show kids how mind-blowing space and science related things can be. Throughout my own life, when being asked who my hero or favorite person of all time is, there is never a moment's hesitation before giving the same answer each and every time: Dr. Sally Ride. Her legacy will live on and continue to inspire young minds for generations to come.
I know many girls were inspired when the news media said "Ride, Sally Ride!!". May they still follow in Dr. Rides footsteps to continue to push boundaries for mankind.
Salut Sally! Blaze like meteors and be gay! Your life was inspirational beyond description.
Wait a minute... Congratulations, sure – but the both of you got maierrd 10 years ago – on April Fool's Day?? Now surely that date was just tempting Loki – and a hundred other Trickster spirits out there besides?! Hmm.. Or did you just mean you were maierrd on another Maundy Thursday, Easter being lunar-determined, and therefore a moveable feast, as they say?? (How sensitive is this guy to calendrical omens?) Anyway, congrats to both of you.
I have had the privilege to work with Sally Ride Science... Sally's legacy will continue, encouraging students in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. I hope teachers will go to the site: http://www.sallyridescience.com and see all the programs offered to educators and students.
Sad day for America! This country's first woman in space died today. What a legacy she left as a scientist, explorer and role model. Have a good journey on your return trip to the heavens....ride Sally Ride!
Sally Ride was a true American hero- she had The Right Stuff.
She made us proud to be Americans, and was an inspiration, not just to women everywhere, but to all humans. I'm saddened by the news of her untimely passing, but her example of courage, curiosity, intelligence, and service will live forever. Ride, Sally, Ride!
I remember one of my elementary school teachers reading us a book she wrote about what it was like to be in space. I really wanted to be an astronaut after hearing about her experiences! Of course, that didn't happen, :) but it did ignite in me a love and interest in outer space that has not waned. Rest in peace, Sally Ride :(
I am so shocked to hear the news of Sally Rides' passing. My 6 year old daughter chose Ms. Ride as her Famous American earlier this year. As my daughter stood before her classmates, wearing a white NASA flight suit, she carefully and brilliantly recited key points of Ms. Ride's life with a poster board display and a nervous smile. I was so proud that day of her, not because she was doing a great job but because she really understood what Ms. Ride had accomplished for herself and this country. God bless you Sally Ride and God Speed.
So sad that such a wonderful person that cared for others should
find an early end to her life .I hope all girls will follow her example
and study science unfettered in a usually male dominated field ,yes
the times are changing.
At age 16 I was at the life support building at 2 am along the press rope line at the Kennedy Space Center where the astronauts walk out in their blue jump suits to the "astro van" for the 3 mile trip to launch pad 39A. It was June 18th 1983. America was sending the first free woman into space. And out walked the whole crew – but all eyes were on Sally. I swear she saw me and waved. I was so proud to be an American and I had never seen anything like a shuttle launch ever before. It was fantastic. But Sally wasn't through- no she did so much more than just work as an astronaut. She inspired so many. Thank you Sally. Thank you for all of your hard work for all people.
I got to work with Sally on her EarthKAM project for two years. What a fine and gracious person she was. I will miss her.
I remember when I was a kid I would skip one day to watch the Space Shuttles go up. I was so excited to watch the first woman in our space program go up.
You Sally are a inspiration and you will be solely missed. Cancer is a predator that is evil and takes our loved ones and our dearest friends.
God Speed Miss Sally! You will be missed very much
In a world of turmoil you have a great person like Sally Ride. I remember watching on tv her flight. God take Sally into the angels of heaven forever... God Bless you...
Dr. Ride, thank you for inspiring me and thousands of other girls in my generation to love math and science (or at least, science). You will be greatly missed.
I have followed the American Space Program since I was a child and you were one of the space pioneers that I so strongly revered. While you may no longer be with us, your spirit will shine on forever as a beacon to those, especially girls and women, who will reach for the stars because of you. You are now free to explore the entire universe: fly on!
The Ultimate Fly Girl- Sally Ride was my first mentor. As a brand new student pilot just learning to fly back in the 80’s, I was invited to join the Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. When I discovered its first president was Amelia Earhart, I was wowed. But when I learned one of this organization’s current members included the famed Sally Ride, I was double wowed! I joined the 99s, delighted to belong to the same club as the daring Sally Ride. Although I never had the privilege of meeting Sally in person, I have always been awestruck by her spirit. She inspired me to earn all my pilot ratings, which have enabled me to life to the fullest. Thank you, Sally, for living the dream and spreading the joy that women fly!
I did a report on Sally Ride this year. I wanted to go to her school. She was one of my favorite people that I learned about.
Sally spoke at a women's meeting at First Baptist Orlando just ages ago. Before it started, I was asking the emcee if I could possibly shake Sally's hand and the emcee was saying it wasn't possible when Sally walked up and I got to shake her hand. Then she gave a wonderful speech. I admire her so much and pray that this ultimate trip is her best of all.
Ride, Sally, ride! There are no words, but I will give it a shot: courageous, determined, intrepid.
Thank you, Sally Ride! Your an inspiration to girls & women everywhere. Rest in Peace.
Thank you for taking the first steps as a woman to enter space and to achieve everything you did. you are a true American Hero. RIP.
You lit up the world with your intelligence and courage, and now you'll light up the heavens forever.
Thank you, Sally, for dedication and service to science, our space programs and humanity. You are an American hero, who will be fondly remembered.
Sally just embarked on the ultimate E-ticket ride. God speed.
Thank you Sally, May God love you.
Dr. Ride was an inspiration. She did so much to advance a love for science among children, but especially girls. And how could you not love her name? She is travelling at the speed of light now.
I was at the launch of the space shuttle that year, just so I could be there to see the blast-off of the first female astronaut. I was so proud of her and to have been there to witness it. I am sure you are so proud of your daughter and always will be. RIP Sally. I will never forget you! You were a role model for many that followed you!
Growing up in the '80's there were not many women nerdy chicks like me could look up to. I remember realizing I could do anything I put my mind too when Sally went into space. My childhood would not have been the same and I would not be who I am today without realizing that. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. Thank you for changing my world.
God Speed on Angels Wings Sally...
Bear – where ever you are ~ my love and prayers are with you and the family
I was at the lauch, it is a wonderful memory.She will be missed.
What an inspiration Dr. Ride is!! Now is her time to really join the stars!!
Sally Ride, American hero. Her achievements will continue to inspire generations of young women to reach for the stars.
When I was a little girl you were my hero. My heart goes out to your family. RIP.
I was very fortunate to meet astronaut Ride several times between 1986 and 2011 and am saddened to hear of her death. She did a huge amount of work to inspire children, especially girls, to pursue interests in science careers. Very sad day.
RIP, Ms. Ride. A heroic woman.
Another lady who proved there are no limits to ones dreams. You helped me prove to my girls that they could do anything!
God speed, Sally.
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