Sally Ride, America's First Female Astronaut, has Died

Sally Ride, first American woman to fly in space, died on Monday after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, her company. She was 61.

"Sally has lived his life fully, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, dedication and love for its integrity was absolute. Her spirit was immeasurable, her approach to life was fearless," said in a statement on the site of Sally Ride Science, company, she began to help teach students - especially young women and girls - about science, mathematics and engineering.

The trip flew into orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 became the first woman in America in space. She took a second trip aboard the space shuttle as a year.

The first woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, which revolves around the earth 48 times in 1963

"In the first American woman to travel in space, Sally was a national hero and a powerful example to follow," U.S. President Barack Obama said shortly after the news of her death broke. "She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars, and then fought tirelessly to help them get there, advocating for greater attention to science and mathematics in the school of life. Sally showed us that there is no limit to what we can achieve, and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for many years. "

Los Angeles native, Ride attended Stanford University where she received four degrees, including a doctorate in physics, according to NASA. She joined the agency as part of the class of 1978, first as women. The trip answered an ad in the newspaper a student at Stanford and was selected from about 8,000 candidates.

She was appointed to the third flight, but was scratched after the Challenger exploded shortly after the separation in 1986, killing the seven crew members on board. The trip helped to investigate the accident and in the same space shuttle Columbia, becoming the only person in the commission and investigation of accidents. In 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, killing all seven crew members.

She served as special assistant to NASA administrator for long-range and strategic planning and was the first director of NASA's exploration office, according to her company.

After retiring from the agency, Ride joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, where she was professor of physics and director of the California Institute for Space. She is also the author of several books.

In a 2008 interview with CNN, Ride said that he felt himself to look back on Earth, claiming that to give her a new perspective.

"You can not get it just standing on the ground with his feet firmly planted on earth. You can get just from outer space, and it's just amazing how beautiful our planet is and how it looks fragile," she said.

The trip left her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy, mother, sister and other family members.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism - and literally changed the face of the U.S. space program," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "The nation has lost one of its top leaders, teachers and researchers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family Sally and she inspired many. She will be missed, but her star will always shine."

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