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Astronaut & Author Sally Ride Has Died

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, has passed away. She was 61 years old.

In addition to her historic career as an astronaut, Ride helped write seven science books for kids, including: To Space and Back, Voyager; The Mystery of Mars and Mission Save the Planet. You can find all her books at this link. Here’s more from her biography:

In August 1979, after a yearlong training and evaluation period, Sally became eligible for assignment as an astronaut on a space shuttle flight crew. She was selected as a mission specialist for mission STS-7 aboard the shuttle Challenger. When Challenger blasted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983, Sally soared into history as the first American woman in space. “The thing that I’ll remember most about the flight is that it was fun,” said Sally. “In fact, I’m sure it was the most fun I’ll ever have in my life.”

In 2001, the astronaut founded Sally Ride Science to continue her outreach to children. The company’s goal was to encourage “young girls and boys to stick with their interests in science and to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.” She created two educational programs, EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM–NASA-funded projects aimed at middle school students.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Ride as the first woman in space.

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