Sally Ride to be honored at UCSD

LA JOLLA (CNS) – Sally Ride, the first American woman in space and
former UC San Diego physics professor, will be posthumously awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, by
President Barack Obama, it was announced Monday.

Ride died in La Jolla last July 23 following a 17-month battle with
pancreatic cancer. She was 61.

“We remember Sally Ride not just as a national hero, but as a role
model to generations of young women,” Obama said. “Sally inspired us to reach
for the stars, and she advocated for a greater focus on the science,
technology, engineering and math that would help us get there. Sally showed us
that there are no limits to what we can achieve, and I look forward to
welcoming her family to the White House as we celebrate her life and legacy.”

Ride became the first American woman to travel in space on June 18,
1983, while aboard the space shuttle Challenger. She flew aboard the shuttle
Challenger twice, and was assigned to a third when the program was placed on
hold after Challenger exploded shortly after launch in January 1986.

Ride served on the presidential commission that investigated the explosion.

She left NASA in 1987, and joined the faculty at UCSD as a professor of
physics and director of the California Space Institute two years later.

She founded San Diego-based Sally Ride Science in 2001 to encourage
youngsters to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Ride's partner, mother and sister were notified last week that she would
be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her
contributions to the U.S. space program and education system, according to the
White House.

The remaining honorees will be announced over the coming weeks, and the
awards will be presented at the White House later this year.

Categories: KUSI