First American Woman in Space, Sally Ride has died

The first American woman in space has died.

Sally Ride, just 61, had been in a battle with pancreatic cancer for the last 17-months and passed away today in La Jolla, California. Ride, who was a physicist before her first mission on the Challenger, June 18, 1983.

She’d become an astronaut after answering an ad placed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1977, while a Ph.D. candidate in physics at Stanford University. In addition to being a major role-model for millions of young girls, she worked tirelessly to expand science for children. To her credit, Sally authored 7 science books for children.

She is survived by Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years; her mother, Joyce; and a sister, Bear.

Rest in Peace, Sally Ride.