DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Sally Ride (aged 61)
American physicist and astronaut (1951–2012)
Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut and physicist. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Ride was the third woman in space overall, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. She worked for two years at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear optics and Thomson scattering. She served on the committees that investigated the Challengerand Columbia space shuttle disasters, the only person to participate in both.
DEATH: Ride died on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61, in her home in La Jolla, California, seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Following cremation, her ashes were interred next to her father at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica.