Aerospace Board of Trustees Member Sally Ride Dies

Aerospace board of trustees member Dr. Sally Ride has died following a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Ride was the first American woman — and youngest American at that time — to journey into space.

Dr. Ride was elected to Aerospace’s board on June 10, 2004, and served on the Awards, Compensation and Personnel, and Technical committees. In 2010, she served as chair of the Technical Committee and on the Executive Committee of the board.

“Everyone knows Sally Ride as the first American woman in space and as a technical powerhouse,” said Dr. Wanda Austin, Aerospace president and CEO, “What made Sally Ride so special was her strength of personality and strength of character. I had an opportunity to see her special magic in action when we both served on the Augustine Commission.” That commission, also known by its more formal title as the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee, was charged with reviewing the country’s future human spaceflight plans.

Dr. Ride was president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, which she created in 2001 to create entertaining science programs and publications, encouraging young people, especially girls, to pursue education and careers in science and technology. Dr. Ride was also a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and worked at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.

Dr. Ride was the recipient of many awards, including the National Space Society’s von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and was twice awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal. Dr. Ride was the only person to serve on both of the panels investigating the space shuttle Challenger and Columbia disasters.

The Aerospace Corporation, based in El Segundo, Calif., is a California nonprofit corporation that provides objective technical analyses and assessments for critical national security space programs and selected civil and commercial space programs in the national interest. Aerospace has been assuring space mission success for more than 50 years.

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