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Sally Ride has died of pancreatic cancer
July 23, 2012 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Sally Ride has died of pancreatic cancer at age 61. NPR blog. She was an inspiration to many. I saw her speak years ago when I took my daughters to a women in science program at the University of Michigan and both they and I came away impressed with her intelligence and commitment - the world is a richer place for her having been in it.
posted by leslies (214 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
too young.
posted by sweetkid at 3:03 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, no!

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posted by brundlefly at 3:03 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


She was my very first "hero" as a kid and I'm oh so very saddened by this.
posted by sonika at 3:04 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by schmod at 3:04 PM on July 23, 2012


Ah, hell....

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posted by JB71 at 3:05 PM on July 23, 2012


For those interested, there's a link on her website to contribute to the Sally Ride Pancreatic Cancer Initiative.
posted by sonika at 3:05 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


No. NO. This is just unbelievable. She was the heroine of my childhood, the person girls wanted to be when they grew up. During my lifetime, she helped effect huge, lasting, permanent change. This is such a huge loss not just to the world of science, but to the women for whom she represented opportunity and progress.
posted by mynameisluka at 3:05 PM on July 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


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posted by Anitanola at 3:06 PM on July 23, 2012


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Very sad.
posted by feckless at 3:06 PM on July 23, 2012


Godspeed, Sally Ride.

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posted by vibrotronica at 3:06 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 3:07 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Cosine at 3:08 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Cash4Lead at 3:09 PM on July 23, 2012


I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid - I had huge posters of Sally Ride in my bedroom. I worshipped her, truly. I remember being eight years old and practicing jumping rope backwards in order to advance my astronaut "career." Why I thought this was an essential skill for an astronaut, I have no idea, but the idea of space and exploration consumed me as a kid and seeing Sally Ride - a girl! Like me! - in space played no small part in that.

Ultimately, a career in either flight or science wasn't for me and I'll probably never orbit anything, but there was a sense of hopefulness and aspiration that I had as a kid that I can trace directly to Sally Ride.
posted by sonika at 3:09 PM on July 23, 2012 [24 favorites]


Mannnnnn.

I remember seeing her on some PBS program or other -- might have been Sesame Street, might have been Mr. Rogers. I knew she was the first American woman in space, but it never occurred to me as a wee Madaminetta that I would ever have a problem becoming an astronaut or some other kind of scientist or a fireman-ballerina-doctor.

And I may not be any of those things today, but dang it, I could have if I wanted to. Because of her.
posted by Madamina at 3:09 PM on July 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by Elly Vortex at 3:10 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Smart Dalek at 3:10 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by bettafish at 3:10 PM on July 23, 2012


Ride, Sally, ride

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posted by zombieflanders at 3:10 PM on July 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was seven when she made her famous flight. A few weeks later, on the fourth of July, my grandfather brought a bunch of really cool illegal fireworks to the party. I'm not sure what they actually were -- they weren't bottle rockets, but they flew way up there and did not make a loud bang -- but we referred to them as "Sally Ride" fireworks and still do (my dad mentioned last month that he still had one lying around somewhere).
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


My heros have always been astronauts. Godspeed Sally.
posted by Divine_Wino at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by Phssthpok at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2012


(Not to hog the thread, and I'll bow out now, but my Twitter Stream is showing from credible sources that Sally Ride was not only the first American woman astronaut, but also the first American lesbian in space. I don't know if this makes her the first GLBT American astronaut, but it's definitely a worthy part of her legacy.)
posted by sonika at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2012 [27 favorites]


Wow....no words... Can I leave a star instead of a dot?


*


Thank you Sally.
posted by pearlybob at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


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posted by entropicamericana at 3:12 PM on July 23, 2012


Proof that good things do come from the San Fernando Valley.

Godspeed Sally.

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posted by eyeballkid at 3:12 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by cashman at 3:14 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by agatha_magatha at 3:14 PM on July 23, 2012


The last line of the obituary reads like so: "She is survived by Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years; her mother, Joyce; and a sister, Bear." Not sure if that's correct, since there's a typo two paragraphs up.

Sally Ride was not only the first American woman astronaut, but also the first American lesbian in space.

She might be the first lesbian in space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:15 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lot of good links to more about her work and life via Boingboing.
posted by leslies at 3:15 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sally in space.
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:15 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by Amplify at 3:15 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Wemmick at 3:17 PM on July 23, 2012


Oh, no. That makes an already sad day so much worse. :(

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posted by Celsius1414 at 3:18 PM on July 23, 2012


Here's Sally on Sesame Street. And a Muppet-laden, space-related Sesame Street song that is rife with the enthusiasm the women's movement passed on to kids like me while Sally was out there busting barriers.
posted by mynameisluka at 3:19 PM on July 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


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posted by Kevin Street at 3:19 PM on July 23, 2012


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Thank you for what you did for little girls and science.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:21 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by hal9k at 3:21 PM on July 23, 2012



posted by bz at 3:22 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by lumpenprole at 3:24 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 3:24 PM on July 23, 2012


I've never known a space industry without Sally Ride in it. I thought she would be around forever. Godspeed.
posted by casarkos at 3:25 PM on July 23, 2012


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Hard to believe she was a person who could age.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:25 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Great astronaut. With a great astronaut name...just the sound of it brings back adolescent pangs of emotion and memories.

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(What is going on this year? Just too many people slipping away. Bradbury, Borgnine, Sarris. Sendak, Summer,Griffith, Crews, my old friend and bandmate Jacques...)
posted by Skygazer at 3:26 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Thorzdad at 3:27 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by mephron at 3:29 PM on July 23, 2012


Both Valentina Tereshkova and Svetlana Savitskaya married, so Sally Ride would be the first LGBT person in space.
posted by Cash4Lead at 3:29 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not terribly original, but, man, fuck cancer! A great woman and terrific role model, taken way too early.

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posted by Frayed Knot at 3:30 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by ChuraChura at 3:32 PM on July 23, 2012


Can I just tell you that I love the fact that my very first female hero turned out to be a lesbian to boot? I'm happy that she had love in her life and that she appears to have been able to lead life on her own terms until her battle with cancer impacted her, but dang, if she'd been out this whole time I gotta tell you it would have made a difference to me.
posted by FlamingBore at 3:32 PM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Dr. Ride was a pioneer and a trailblazer -- an incredibly inspirational symbol to several generations of Americans. That in and of itself is wonderful, but she continued to take that role seriously, even after she officially retired from the space program. About a decade ago, she founded Sally Ride Science, which rose out of a company she formed called Imaginary Lines that was intended to encourage young girls to provide support for all the girls who are, or might become, interested in science, math & technology.

Sally Ride Science is a company that specializes in science education for upper elementary and middle schools. They have a series of books for educators and students, (for homeschoolers and classrooms) packages and all sorts of neat programs. She also teamed with Exxon in 2009 to form the Sally Ride Academy, for educators. They train teachers to help excite their kids about science (STEM) and science careers and hold events at schools throughout the US.

Thus, her lasting legacy isn't just symbolic. Her work and life will continue to inspire others to take on science careers, and inspire teachers to show children what powerful tools and benefits scientific inquiry gives us. How it allows us to explore the wonders of the universe.

I hope she knew how many children and adults, how many generations of Americans she inspired over the years. Whom she taught by example that they shouldn't have to settle. That they could do anything they set their minds to.

With respect, silence and gratitude....

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posted by zarq at 3:33 PM on July 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by Dean358 at 3:33 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by rgropp at 3:34 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Sara C. at 3:34 PM on July 23, 2012


Sally Ride was one of those kick ass women who made me ASSUME I could grow up to do anything I wanted. I was 3 when she went to space, so she was always in my world as a given. I got a cabbage patch astronaut (mine had long brown hair, but you get the idea) who came with one of those crazy cabbage patch names-but she was always Sally to me. Looking back, she [along with my parents] gave me a probably unrealistic notion of "femaleness" not being an issue as I aged-but when I've hit those crappy barriers in my own life and career, her example (among others) made me fight like that shit was my birthright. Thanks, Sally.
posted by atomicstone at 3:38 PM on July 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by Mojojojo at 3:39 PM on July 23, 2012


Is her sister really named "Bear"?
posted by Brocktoon at 3:39 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by tommasz at 3:40 PM on July 23, 2012


(What is going on this year? Just too many people slipping away...

This year does feel rough re: deaths, but I'm afraid that feeling is just what getting old means.


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:41 PM on July 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


*sigh* I was recently thinking how disappointing it is that here in the US we aren't investing in space exploration like we should and now to hear that Ms Ride has passed is just so sad. I wish her family peace.

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posted by dorkydancer at 3:41 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 3:42 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Mental Wimp at 3:44 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by cazoo at 3:44 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Lutoslawski at 3:45 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by bondcliff at 3:45 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by WidgetAlley at 3:47 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by god hates math at 3:47 PM on July 23, 2012


If you find yourself moved by this death more than you might have expected, please read the NYT obituary for some awesome tidbits (I found a few of the personal details -- especially where the personal and professional crossed -- very touching)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:49 PM on July 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


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(Brocktoon, Bear is apparently a nickname for Karen).
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:50 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by smangosbubbles at 3:50 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Splunge at 3:52 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by madcaptenor at 3:53 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by book 'em dano at 3:57 PM on July 23, 2012


>:::::> sad to read this! A very great woman.

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posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:01 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by dabug at 4:01 PM on July 23, 2012


She meant a lot to me, and to lots of women, space nerds, and especially women space nerds.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:02 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by ambrosia at 4:04 PM on July 23, 2012


People seem to be calling her the "first lesbian astronaut", but how do we know she wasn't the first bisexual astronaut?
posted by madcaptenor at 4:05 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by localroger at 4:07 PM on July 23, 2012



People seem to be calling her the "first lesbian astronaut", but how do we know she wasn't the first bisexual astronaut?

Who cares? She was awesome no matter her sexual preference.
posted by Mojojojo at 4:07 PM on July 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by drezdn at 4:09 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Bummus at 4:09 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Kitteh at 4:11 PM on July 23, 2012


Damn. Too soon.

I'm liking the 'star' idea started upthread, so,

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posted by Artful Codger at 4:11 PM on July 23, 2012


God. I am just so sad. Dr. Ride is the reason I was into science as a kid (ok, and 321 Contact), and a big reason I went to Space Camp.

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posted by bibliogrrl at 4:11 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bless you and your family, Sally.

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posted by Lynsey at 4:15 PM on July 23, 2012


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(✨🚀)
posted by hanoixan at 4:17 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by fancyoats at 4:19 PM on July 23, 2012


We have far too few people who manage to do what Sally Ride did. Even in the future when there's been a thousand million women in space, her accomplishments will still stand out.
posted by happyroach at 4:21 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by mattbucher at 4:24 PM on July 23, 2012



posted by m@f at 4:25 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by incandissonance at 4:30 PM on July 23, 2012


*

I was so excited when she was chosen as an astronaut.

Fuck cancer, and fuck pancreatic cancer most of all.
posted by mogget at 4:32 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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(Also, more about Tam O'Shaughnessy.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:34 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Who cares? She was awesome no matter her sexual preference.

Indeed she was. But thanks to DOMA, her partner of 27 years won't get any survivor benefits. It shouldn't matter, but it still does.

Her obituary says she was married to a fellow astronaut, Steven Hawley, for five years.
posted by ambrosia at 4:35 PM on July 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


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posted by killy willy at 4:36 PM on July 23, 2012


. for her partner, Dr. Tam O'Shaughnessy.
posted by peeedro at 4:38 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by mkim at 4:40 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by dismas at 4:42 PM on July 23, 2012


I went to SpaceCamp just after her second flight - it was filled with young girls that openly said they wanted to be Sally Ride. It's weird when someone has to be a 'focus' for something that ought to be normal, but Dr. Ride pulled it off with grace. Godspeed.

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posted by pupdog at 4:44 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by shakespeherian at 4:45 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by tantivy at 4:45 PM on July 23, 2012


I openly wept when I heard the news.

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posted by dejah420 at 4:46 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by treepour at 4:47 PM on July 23, 2012


She lived more in that short a time than most people would in twice as much. And she will be remembered for her accomplishments and for inspiring a generation.

Godspeed, Sally.
posted by azpenguin at 4:48 PM on July 23, 2012


I remember, as a kid, being so proud of her for being the first woman in space. That pride still stands. What a cool accomplishment, and to carry it off with such dignity. I keep thinking of the opening lines in the popular poem "High Flight", by Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of.................


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posted by but no cigar at 4:49 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, shit. I didn't even know she was ill. Damn it, we've lost another one.

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posted by likeso at 4:49 PM on July 23, 2012


but no cigar: I keep thinking of the opening lines in the popular poem "High Flight"

Unfortunately, as much as I love that poem, and no matter how appropriate it is at the moment, references to that poem will forever remind me of this comic.
posted by hanov3r at 4:57 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by GenjiandProust at 4:58 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by chillmost at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2012


We watched her historic launch when I was in elementary school. We were all so proud. Of our country. Of its hero.

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posted by clarknova at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


My childhood hero was Ms. Sally Ride. And my favorite book as a child was To Space And Back. I am a woman with bachelors and masters degrees in science because of her.

I am so happy I got to have someone like her to look up to.
posted by jillithd at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by rtha at 5:03 PM on July 23, 2012


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ditto, dejah420
posted by Jikido at 5:04 PM on July 23, 2012


* * * * * * *
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A sky full of stars you helped us explore, Sally. RIP.
posted by xingcat at 5:06 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by hydropsyche at 5:10 PM on July 23, 2012


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Thank you Sally Ride. Peace and comfort to all who loved you.

Women in space, previously.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:12 PM on July 23, 2012


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Per audacia ad astra
posted by bashos_frog at 5:14 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by ladygypsy at 5:15 PM on July 23, 2012


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(second one is for our space program)
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:15 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by foonly at 5:16 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by radwolf76 at 5:16 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Quietgal at 5:26 PM on July 23, 2012


Sally Ride stands out in my childhood memories of the early 80s shuttle missions. I don't know why, but if I had to name an shuttle astronaut, her face would immediately come to mind.

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posted by Xenophon Fenderson at 5:27 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:28 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by eruonna at 5:28 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by katherant at 5:30 PM on July 23, 2012


People seem to be calling her the "first lesbian astronaut", but how do we know she wasn't the first bisexual astronaut?

Who cares? She was awesome no matter her sexual preference.


Many people care. GLBT people who are awesome get to be awesome role models for GLBT children who are considering suicide.
posted by Wordwoman at 5:36 PM on July 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


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posted by Wordwoman at 5:37 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by weathergal at 5:41 PM on July 23, 2012


Thanks CheeseDigestsAll for the link about Tam O'Shaughnessy. A poignant little piece of the story is that, although they became partners in their mid-30s, they'd actually met in a tennis match at age 12.
posted by secretseasons at 5:43 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]



posted by Morrigan at 5:44 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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(Fuck pancreatic cancer. You almost never know, until it's too late.)
posted by eriko at 5:45 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


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An inspiration to generations.
posted by charmcityblues at 5:45 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by gc at 5:59 PM on July 23, 2012


Bear, Sally's gay sister, talks about Sally and her partner Tam.
posted by roger ackroyd at 6:00 PM on July 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I really admired Sally Ride, and the story of her almost 30 years of happiness with Tam O'Shaughnessy melts my heart, but I'm not sure it profits anyone to speculate about other astronauts' sexual orientations/self-identifications based only on the information that they were at one time in a marriage with someone of the "opposite" gender. After all, that was Ride's own experience, too.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:00 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


"All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary."
- Sally Ride, 1st US spacewoman and astronaut.

Go boldly, astronaut Ride.

And for sure this:

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posted by Mike Mongo at 6:01 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by rewil at 6:05 PM on July 23, 2012


@ (my tiny galaxy)
posted by SPrintF at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by ants at 6:07 PM on July 23, 2012


I must give her ★, because we generally use * for "asshole" around here (as per Kurt Vonnegut's delightful artistry).

So, Sally--


posted by tzikeh at 6:13 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Asked about those who would have opposed legal recognition of her sister's relationship, Bear Ride bluntly replied, "Who cares about them really? There are those who are stubbornly ignorant, and if they want to continue in that, God bless them, but probably best not to talk to my family."

Exactly
posted by Mojojojo at 6:13 PM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


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posted by TheFlamingoKing at 6:15 PM on July 23, 2012


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Damn, another hero gone. Fuck cancer.
posted by arcticseal at 6:19 PM on July 23, 2012


The awesome monthly radio program Queer Music Heritage by JD Doyle is featuring Casse Culver's version of Ride Sally Ride on the blog today in honor of Sally's passing. It doesn't get anymore meta lesbian than that!!!


posted by kuppajava at 6:19 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by KevCed at 6:20 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by quazichimp at 6:21 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by photo guy at 6:30 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Dumsnill at 6:30 PM on July 23, 2012


(o)

(Wheel stop. )
posted by casarkos at 6:31 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Godspeed... you will be missed....

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posted by theartandsound at 6:42 PM on July 23, 2012


ad astra, sally.

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posted by cloax at 6:42 PM on July 23, 2012


As a little boy in the 80s who loved the space program, I thought Dr. Ride was awesome.

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posted by sleepinglion at 6:51 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I heard this coming home today on NPR. The (female) interviewer was talking to her former commander and kept asking personality questions. "Why did you pick her? What was it like to work with her?" Fair enough. Then she said something about her being a scientist, not just an astronaut, having a PhD in physics. So I thought the next question was going to be something about her research interests. Nope. It was something like, "So, being in space with others is hard. How did Sally get along with the team?" :head-steering wheel, head-steering wheel:

(Dr. Ride's research interests: astrophysics and free electron lasers, apparently.)

Thank you for letting me grow up in a world where female astronauts seemed normal. RIP.

¸.•*´
posted by smirkette at 6:54 PM on July 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


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posted by ZeusHumms at 6:55 PM on July 23, 2012


As the father of two little girls who dream big dreams...


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posted by 4ster at 6:56 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by Alterscape at 6:57 PM on July 23, 2012


"Why did you pick her?"

What answer did the Commander of the mission give?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 PM on July 23, 2012


Mission commander Robert Crippen has answered in the past that Dr Ride was chosen for a number of reasons including her coolness under stress and her expertise in operating the robot arm. Dismaying that even now some journalist talks about her with this sort of stupid, perky human-interest angle rather than focusing on her competence, intelligence and ability to function well under stress.
posted by leslies at 7:05 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


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A hell of a life, across several careers. Sympathies to her partner and the rest of her family.

Fuck cancer.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:10 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by dlugoczaj at 7:16 PM on July 23, 2012



posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:16 PM on July 23, 2012


no.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:27 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by supercoiled at 7:35 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 7:38 PM on July 23, 2012


overwhelmed with tears

posted by Fibognocchi at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2012


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Even as a little boy I thought she was special and cool. Had to tell a whole bunch of friends about her today. Too young.
posted by scelerat at 7:56 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by pernoctalian at 8:12 PM on July 23, 2012


I always admired that her undergraduate degree was a double major in English and Physics. You want to know what you can do with an English major? You can fly among the stars.
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posted by Isadorady at 8:18 PM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


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posted by bardic at 8:22 PM on July 23, 2012


She sure managed to break the glass ceiling in a big way. R.I.P. Dr. Ride.


posted by figment of my conation at 8:37 PM on July 23, 2012


Another note of significance is that she was the youngest American astronaut in space at 32, but it looks like that's been surpassed since.

I think America's once-dwindling supply of pop starlets and tabloid darlings has been replenished, so maybe we can work on putting the spotlight on more deserving and admirable role models like Ride?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:42 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the question of why she was picked is germane since she was part of a new breed of astronaut and good out among 8,000 applicants. She was obviously something special.

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posted by dry white toast at 8:45 PM on July 23, 2012


The 8,000 applicants struck me too. Only 8000 people wanted to go into space, or felt that they were qualified to do so?

We need to work on getting that number higher. Thanks to Sally Ride, I'm sure it already is...
posted by schmod at 8:58 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by koucha at 9:01 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by isogloss at 9:26 PM on July 23, 2012


I feel like I spent all of elementary school on some kind of "unit." Units on explorers, units on scientists, units on the solar system. As part of each unit, we were usually given a list of important figures in the field and assigned a report on the person of our choosing. As was (and is!) my wont, I insisted on writing about women.

Guess what? I wrote a lot of reports about Sally Ride because she was the only woman on a lot of these lists.

If I have kids, I hope they have a lot more women to choose from when it comes to report time. But I hope they pick Sally Ride anyway.


posted by Charity Garfein at 9:41 PM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Philip Bond draws Sally Ride as part of his female astronauts series.
posted by Artw at 9:47 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by brujita at 10:18 PM on July 23, 2012


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Ad Astra Per Aspera
posted by speug at 10:31 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:33 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by scody at 10:44 PM on July 23, 2012


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:55 PM on July 23, 2012




For Doctor Sally Ride.

Go with grace...
posted by PROD_TPSL at 11:59 PM on July 23, 2012


You were an inspiration, even though my astronaut fantasies were bygones by the time you flew. *
posted by scottymac at 12:03 AM on July 24, 2012



posted by Cranberry at 12:30 AM on July 24, 2012


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posted by tykky at 1:01 AM on July 24, 2012


I think it's damning that while I remember her going into space, I could not have named her.

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PS: Fuck cancer.
posted by Mezentian at 3:42 AM on July 24, 2012


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posted by Gelatin at 4:54 AM on July 24, 2012


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posted by steambadger at 5:07 AM on July 24, 2012




She's one of the few astronauts whose name I actually knew. I truly hope she was made comfortable, pancreatic cancer is a cruel way to go.
posted by DigDoug at 5:35 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:01 AM on July 24, 2012


The Ride Stuff.


posted by Edison Carter at 6:19 AM on July 24, 2012


.

Both Valentina Tereshkova and Svetlana Savitskaya married, so Sally Ride would be the first LGBT person in space.

Don't make assumptions; Dr Ride was also married to a man for a few years.
posted by aught at 7:02 AM on July 24, 2012


It's not an unreasonable assumption, as the preceding two women are both stilled married and have children. While those facts don't definitively say whether Valentina Tereshkova or Svetlana Savitskaya are gay or not and keeping in mind that it's not our business, it's probably safe to assume Dr. Ride was the first lesbian astronaut.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:39 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]




Thank you, Dr. Ride.
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 8:51 AM on July 24, 2012


.

We are all poorer for having lost you too soon, but are all the richer for having known you.
posted by TomStampy at 9:08 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


sonika: (Not to hog the thread, and I'll bow out now, but my Twitter Stream is showing from credible sources that Sally Ride was not only the first American woman astronaut, but also the first American lesbian in space. I don't know if this makes her the first GLBT American astronaut, but it's definitely a worthy part of her legacy.)
FTA: "She is survived by Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years"

Also, to those of use who viewed her as a hero and a role model back in her days as an astronaut... pretty obvious she was lesbian, although the press never hinted at it, due to the times.

I remember thinking, "Pretty! Smart! Astronaut! dammitshe'sgayohwellnotlikeIhadarealchancebutshe'sstill Pretty! Smart! Astronaut!"
posted by IAmBroom at 9:36 AM on July 24, 2012




Fuck you, cancer.

I was an astronaut obsessed 10 year old boy in 1983, and Sally Ride was my hero as well. I knew it was important, even then, even if I couldn't really tell you why. I'm sad that she's gone, and can only hope that she continues to inspire everyone towards STEM.
posted by griffey at 9:36 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]



posted by ursus_comiter at 9:43 AM on July 24, 2012


Damn. Damn, damn, damn.

My old mum told me not to “watch the news” last night, knowing I already have a lot on my mind and that I’d be quite saddened by this. (And still not getting that she should’ve told me, “Don’t go on the Net.”) Five minutes later I read the news on twitter.

This is at least the third death I can think of in recent months of a still-young shuttle astronaut, Voss and Pointdexter being others that come to mind. And there’s another astronaut I particularly admire who I’m concerned is fighting a serious illness.

So many public figures I've been influenced by are going too soon.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:53 AM on July 24, 2012


.

Thanks for helping to blaze the trail.
posted by bearwife at 10:59 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]




Why is pancreatic cancer so deadly?
posted by homunculus at 8:26 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]




Heartbroken. Sleep sweet, Dr. Ride.
posted by MissySedai at 8:34 PM on July 24, 2012


Why Sally Ride waited until her death to tell the world she was gay.
posted by ericb at 8:52 PM on July 24, 2012


No disrespect to Sally Ride, but this piece is interesting: Sally Ride Was Amazing, but She Should Not Have Been the First U.S. Woman in Space
posted by homunculus at 9:00 PM on July 24, 2012


Homonoclus, that article is factually wrong on several points, though the main point is correct.

The Mercury 13 program was privately funded, not a part of the official program. The jet plane experience requirement was a military problem, as women weren't allowed to fly jets, so they never could pass the benchmark.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:33 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, thanks for clarifying that.
posted by homunculus at 12:30 AM on July 25, 2012


homunculus: No disrespect to Sally Ride, but this piece is interesting: Sally Ride Was Amazing, but She Should Not Have Been the First U.S. Woman in Space
Interesting piece, but we don't live in a world of "should". That Sally Ride "should not have been the First U.S. Woman in Space" is not news: sexism should not exist. Tautological title is tautological.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:25 AM on July 25, 2012


Ride, Sally Ride: My Dinner with the First American Woman in Space
posted by homunculus at 12:00 PM on July 25, 2012


I have to say, I really like the stars.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:00 PM on July 25, 2012


Domestic Double Standard: What About Sally Ride’s Partner? Sally Ride risked her life for her country, and yet her domestic partner of 27 years will not get her government benefits. Is that any way to treat a hero?
posted by homunculus at 10:19 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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