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Astronaut Sally Ride,[masked]

From: Dr. Brian H.
Sent on: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 10:33 AM

Dear SoCal Science Café members:

On Monday, 23 July 2012, a legend passed into history.  On that day, Astronaut Sally Ride, an astrophysicist and a space pioneer, passed away.  She left an incredible legacy.

People compare Sally Ride to the Amelia Earhart of the space program, being that Dr. Ride was the first American woman in space. Ride was born on May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles, California.  She graduated from Westlake High School in 1968.  She went on to double-major in Physics and English at Stanford University, graduating in 1973.  Then she went on to get her Ph.D. in Physics in 1978. 

Sally Ride flew into space, and into history, as a Mission Specialist on the Space Shuttle “Columbia”  on her first mission, after completing a year of training and evaluation in August 1979.  Later, she would be Mission Specialist in several missions of the Space Shuttle “Challenger.” Who can forget the Space Shuttle “Challenger,” which tragically exploded shortly after launch in 1987, killing all crew on board.  Ride was not a part of the mission at the time. 

Ride went on to fly on several more missions and devoted the rest of her life to continuing to leave a legacy of blazing new trails to the stars for women everywhere.  Astronaut Ride joined the faculty of UC San Diego as a Professor of Physics and Director of the University of California’s California Space Institute in 1989, according to her official NASA biography.  In addition, in 2001 she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science.  Sally Ride Science broke new ground in science education and outreach by opening doors of inspiration and opportunities to pursue science careers for girls and young women. 

Sally Ride shall remain as one of the few bright, shining lights of inspiration and hope for girls and women, and indeed all people, around the world.  Her example, and those to come after her, will point the way to the future for all of us.

All of us at SoCal Science Café pay our respects today to one of the leaders in science outreach and a true inspiration to us all.

Sincerely Yours,


Brian Hart, Ph.D.
Founder and Past Director, SoCal Science Café

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