Editor's note: Kathryn Sullivan, former astronaut and the first American woman to walk in space, is assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is also serving as NOAA's acting chief scientist.
(CNN) - Retrospectives of Sally Ride's life over the next few days are likely to include the words "ground-breaking," "trailblazer," "inspiration" and "mentor." And rightly so. She epitomized these words and so many more. To me, she was also a classmate, a crewmate, a collaborator and a friend.
Sally and I first crossed paths in the first grade at Hayvenhurst Elementary School in California in 1958, though neither of us remembered the other clearly. We had a good laugh as we pieced this together 20 years later, when we met as two of the first six women in NASA's astronaut corps.
It wasn't the only similarity in our backgrounds. We shared a love for competitive sports, and our college careers revealed that we both loved arts and letters as much as the sciences. The second point paid many dividends later on, in great crossword challenges during crew quarantine and many shared lecture engagements.
We six women in the Class of 1978 ranged in age from 39 (Shannon Lucid) to 26 (Sally and me). Underneath our different professional backgrounds and personal styles, we had many points in common: All six were intelligent, goal-oriented, creative and strong. We each had chosen our career path because it suited our talents and fired our passion, not in pursuit of celebrity.FULL STORY
Editor's Note: Cpt. Frederick (Rick) Hauck spent 29 years in the U.S. Navy as a combat pilot, test pilot and NASA astronaut. He flew as co-pilot aboard the space shuttle Challenger with Sally Ride in 1983 and commanded two missions aboard the space shuttle Discovery, including the first shuttle mission after the Challenger tragedy.
Almost 35 years ago, NASA announced the selection of 35 new astronaut candidates, to augment the aging cadre of America's heroic men who carried the American flag into space and on to the moon. Sally Kristen Ride was one of them, chosen from more than 10,000 applicants.
Ride was one of 20 selected not as pilots, but as engineers, scientists and physicians who would be responsible for conducting on-board experiments and launching satellites from the space shuttle, and later going on space walks to help build the International Space Station.
"In this photograph from July 2008, Dr. Sally Ride, who visited Goddard Space Flight Center for a tour and speech, greets a young fan on the stage. Dr. Laurie Leshin, the Goddard Space Flight Center's Deputy Director for Science and Technology, is in the background.
Dr. Ride, NASA's first female astronaut, died on July 23, 2012, after an illness."Source: NASA
Many, many people took to Twitter to express their feelings about Sally Ride's passing.
Goodbye, Sally Ride. Thank you for taking our dreams to the stars.twitpic.com/ab0mnw
— thinkgeek (@thinkgeek) July 23, 2012
President Obama echoed the thoughts of many women on Twitter:
"She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars."—President Obama on the passing of Sally Ride
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 23, 2012
Very sorry to learn of astronaut Dr. Sally Ride's death. She changed the world, getting girls excited about science. She will be missed.
— Bill Nye (@TheScienceGuy) July 23, 2012
NASA reminds us that Dr. Ride was a groundbreaking individual:
"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism – and literally changed the face of America’s space program." 1.usa.gov/LIQQhD
— NASA (@NASA) July 23, 2012
Sally Ride is to the shuttle era what Neil Armstrong is to Apollo.
— Miles O'Brien (@milesobrien) July 23, 2012
Very sad news on the passing of Sally Ride. A true inspiration.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 23, 2012
Space programs create unique portfolios of heroes - in life and in death. US Shuttle astronaut Sally Ride 1951-2012, RIP.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) July 23, 2012
If you'd like to donate to the Sally Ride Pancreatic Cancer Initiative in Dr. Ride's memory, Xeni Jardin has the details:
In lieu of flowers, "make a gift in memory of Sally to the Sally Ride Pancreatic Cancer Initiative" at UCSD. sallyridescience.com/sallyride/memo…
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) July 23, 2012
Dr. Sally Ride may also now be remembered as the first lesbian astronaut. Kudos to NASA for acknowledging this in commemorating her life.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) July 23, 2012
God Speed, Sally Ride.She aimed for the stars.Let's all do the same.Hanx
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) July 23, 2012
And of course, her fellow astronauts remember:
Astronaut Sally Ride was a pathfinder, a leader, and an icon we all looked up to in the corps. Image gallery & video: go.nasa.gov/Ocn6h7 .
— Gregory H. Johnson(@Astro_Box) July 24, 2012
Sally, you inspired me and millions of others. A life well-lived, cut short. Rest in Peace. twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield/…
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) July 24, 2012
So sorry to hear of the loss of my friend and fellow astronaut Sally Ride. You will always be an inspiration for women and space.
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 24, 2012
A sad day, I just learned of the death of Sally Ride with whom I flew aboard Challenger in 1984. An extraordinary person
— Marc Garneau (@MarcGarneau) July 23, 2012
Editor's note: Montse Cordero is a 17-year-old student from Costa Rica participating in the Foundation for International Space Education's United Space School, a two-week summer program in Houston. She'll be blogging about her experiences in the program here. If you missed it, check out her first post: Getting ready to explore space school.
All the students arrived today. I was dropped off at a house where I met a few other students from all over the world. There were people from New Zealand, Wales, Canada, the U.S., and Costa Rica. They all seemed really cool! Eventually, my host family picked my roommate Alex (who is American) and I up.
We drove around Houston for a little bit and took pictures with T-38s and other cool things. We had some great food for dinner and discussed what the school was going to be like.
We still don’t know much besides the fact that tomorrow we’ll have a lunch with everyone from the school, then interviews to see which team we will be on. I’m sure I’m not the only one super excited to see what’s coming! Tomorrow will be a big day, that’s the one thing I know for sure.
Today was our first actual day of Space School. The activities didn’t begin until noon, so we took advantage of the morning with our host to go to Johnson Space Center and see some pretty neat things!