News yesterday was released that Sally Ride, the famous astronaut and feminist pioneer, has died at age 61. Ride, who made history on June 18, 1983, when she was the first female astronaut to make it into space, passed away at her home in La Jolla, Calif., after battling pancreatic cancer for the past 17 months. Also in the news was that she is survived by her longtime partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy
Ride first made waves in 1978 when she was selected as an astronaut candidate while earning her doctorate at Stanford University. Ride flew in space in both 1983 and 1984, both times aboard the Challenger space shuttle.
Since her passing, many individuals have voiced their support and admiration for the trailblazer, with President Obama releasing a statement that reads, “Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars.”
It has also been revealed since Monday that Ride was a lesbian. In her official obituary released from her office, the conclusion of the piece reads, “Sally Ride is survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy, who is a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University and top executive at Sally Ride Science.”