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Sally Ride, first American woman in space, is dead

Sally Ride, the first American women in space, died on Monday, July 23rd at her home in San Diego, California after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. It was announced by her company, Sally Ride Science, on its website. She was 61.

While finishing her studies at Stanford University, where she already had degrees in physics, astrophysics and English, she applied to become an astronaut. She was one of 8,000 people who answered a NASA advertisement seeking applicants for the space program newly opened also for women. She made the cut and in 1983 became a crew member of the shuttle Challenger. At the age of 32, she was also the youngest American in space. She returned to space a year later and was assigned to the third mission, but it was cancelled after the shuttle Challenger disaster. She is the only person who investigated both shuttle accidents – Challenger explosion in 1986 and the Columbia crash in 2003.

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