First American Woman in Space Has Died

Sally Ride Dies of Pancreatic Cancer

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 61.

Ride took her first ride into space in 1983, after joining the NASA astronaut program in 1978.

She quickly became a household name and an inspiration to girls to become scientifically literate and think about pursuing careers in science and engineering.

Ride had been battling pancreatic cancer, one of the toughest to beat. While most people aren't alive 6 months after diagnosis, Ride's battle was unusually long - 17 months.

America's first lady of space was one of nearly 44,000 Americans who are diagnosed with the disease every year, and also among the 37,000 who succumb to the disease.

President Barack Obama said a statement, "Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Sally Ride. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars and later fought tirelessly to help them get there by advocating for a greater focus on science and math in our schools."

"Sally's life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sally's family and friends."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 22, 2012
Last Updated:
February 8, 2013