Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died today of pancreatic cancer. She was 61-years-old. Those of us old enough to remember will never forget her first voyage into space. (I've posted video of it above, courtesy of shuttlemania.)
The date was June 18, 1983, and I was just a few months shy of my 10th birthday. I was a space shuttle fanatic, and watched every single launch as it happened (the launches were pretty big deals in those days).
I'm sure it was my mother who told me that an American woman would be flying into space for the very first time. Her name was perfect for her mission - Sally Ride.
Ride made news long after she left NASA. She was a professor at my alma mater, U.C. San Diego. She founded Sally Ride Science to motivate youngsters to get interested in science.
When a reporter in the newsroom announced "Sally Ride died," most of the women in the room gasped. Even if we never had any intentions of become astronauts, Ride showed many of us that there were no limits to what girls could do. There was no glass ceiling in space.
Did Sally Ride inspire you? Have your say in our comments section!