Sally Ride was a true pioneer. Her life was dedicated to exploration and the education of future generations. Her legacy hopefully will be that we continue to see more young people interested in science. I encourage you to watch the video on the NASA site to hear what space exploration meant to her.
In 1983, as a high school student, it was thrilling to see not only the first American woman blast off on a journey of great historical significance for women, but also to witness the beginnings of the technological advances that today give us images of our planet that can help us understand how to better use its resources and appreciate its beauty.
I was a jet propulsion specialist, one of only a few women in that career field, and I admired Sally Ride. She was a source of great encouragement to me that I could do anything. Women of character who build bridges and break boundaries are more than a footnote in history, they are the future.
Sally Ride passed away yesterday at the age of 61 after battling pancreatic cancer. She was a great mind and a graceful soul.