Sally Ride, 1st U.S. Woman in Space, Dies

By Jean Elle
|  Monday, Jul 23, 2012  |  Updated 9:40 PM PDT
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NASA confirmed the death of Sally Ride Monday afternoon. Her office in San Diego said she died of pancreatic cancer. The physicist and astronaut graduated from Stanford.

NASA confirmed the death of Sally Ride Monday afternoon. Her office in San Diego said she died of pancreatic cancer. The physicist and astronaut graduated from Stanford.

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The first American woman to make the trip into space is dead but her legacy continues in the Bay Area.

Sally Ride died Monday from pancreatic cancer. She was 61.

She was just 32 when she traveled into space on board NASA's space shuttle Challenger. Shattering the glass ceiling and giving girls something new to dream about.

Ride made two trips into space and was part of the team of investigators who later looked into the Challenger disaster.

When she retired from NASA the astronaut and physicist went on to teach at Stanford and UC San Diego. She also started Sally Ride Science. A program aiming to get girls interested in science and math.

Camps at Stanford and UC Berkeley are scheduled for this summer.

Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland has a similar program. Chabot's executive director Alexander Zwissler met Ride when she honored the organization for it's work.

"Ride was very smart, a physicist, and super committed to cause of getting women motivated about science," Zwissler said.

Work she started and others will now continue.

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