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Sally Ride (1951-2012)

illustration by Micah Player, courtesy of Chronicle Books

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61. Best known for her space missions on the shuttle Challenger in 1983 and 1984, Dr. Ride was later a professor of physics at UC San Diego and director of the University of California’s California Space Institute. As founder and CEO of Sally Ride Science, Dr. Ride worked to inspire and support elementary students, especially girls, with science education programs. She authored or co-authored (with her partner Tam O’Shaughnessy) several nonfiction children’s books about space and space travel, including Exploring Our Solar System (Crown, 2003), The Mystery of Mars (Crown, 1999, Horn Book Magazine starred review), and The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth from Space (Crown, 1994).

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