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Day 161: Sally Ride is dead too, did you know?

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neil Armstrong died this week. It was mentioned in news and repeated in a myriad of status updates on Facebook. While reading something totally unrelated on one of my blog sites I discovered that Sally Ride, first woman in space had died at the age of 61 from pancreatic cancer… Last month. In addition to being the first woman to travel into space she has a PhD in physics from Stanford University and headed the committee that investigated the Challenger tragedy, which resulted in major change in the safety regulations surrounding space flight. She started math and science summer camps for girls and was a major influence for a whole generation of scientifically minded women. Although her contributions to space travel are just as important as those of Neil Armstrong (in some ways more important I think) it seems that her death was less widely noted. I have been told that it was in the news but as far as I can tell it didn’t cause very much of a ripple in our collective awareness. I for one am deeply saddened and apologetic.

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