Sally Ride, the first American woman into space has died aged 61. Selected as part of Astronaut group 8, Ride flew aboard the Shuttle Challenger as part of STS-7 and again on STS-41G. Following the loss of Challenger in 1986 she was a member of the commission investigating the loss. After the investigation was completed, she was assigned to NASA headquarters as special assistant to the administrator for long-range and strategic planning. There she wrote an influential report entitled “Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” and became the first director of NASA’s Office of Exploration.
After numerous positions at places such as Stanford university and University of California, San Diego she founded Sally Ride Science which aims to promote science in schools.
“The thing that I’ll remember most about the flight is that it was fun. In fact, I’m sure it was the most fun I’ll ever have in my life.”