For many people around the world today’s google doodle, celebrating the life of Sally Ride will be special. Sally Ride was one of the astronauts that flew on the challenger, the space shuttle that burned into flames on the 28th of January 1986. It launched and landed nine times before breaking apart 73 seconds into its tenth mission, STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986, resulting in the death of all seven crew members. It was the first of two shuttles to be destroyed in flight.
I remember the accident clearly from when I was a child, and I remembered that it made a big impact on my life, when I was a little bit older I had the privilege to talk to a South African amateur radio operator and engineer, Mr. Edgar Abrahams which at the time told me that they were one of the last radio stations to have made contact with the Challenger Spacecraft before it got destroyed. Interestingly he showed me an invitation from NASA to attend the memorial service. Today Mr Edgar Abrahams have since passed on and I will probably never know if his story was factual or not.
Who was Sally Ride?
Sally Kristen Ride was an American physicist and astronaut born in Los Angeles United States on the 26th of May 1951. She passed away on the 23rd of July 2012 after suffering from pancreatic cancer and did not die in the 1986 Challenger Spacecraft accident.
At the age of 32, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space and still remains the youngest American astronaut to travel to space.
She flew twice on the Challenger space shuttle and retired from NASA in 1987.
She worked for two years at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, then the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching non-linear optics and Thomson scattering.
She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, the only person to participate on both the investigation and whom have flew in the spacecraft.
In April 2013, the U.S. Navy announced that a research ship would be named in honor of Sally Ride. This was done in 2014 with the christening of the oceanographic research vessel R/V Sally Ride.
Source: Wikipedia Sally Ride
The Sally Ride Legacy
In 2013, Janelle Monáe released a song called “Sally Ride”. Also in 2013, astronauts Chris Hadfield and Catherine Coleman performed a song called “Ride On.” In 2013, the Space Foundation bestowed its highest honor, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, on to Sally Ride.
On May 20, 2013, a National Tribute to Sally Ride was held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. On the same day, President Barack Obama announced that Ride would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
The medal was presented to Ride’s life partner Tam O’Shaughnessy in a ceremony at the White House on November 20, 2013. In 2014 Sally Ride was inducted into the Legacy Walk, an outdoor public display which celebrates LGBT history and people.
And today 26th May 25, 2015 Google celebrated her life and legacy with a Google Doodle on their Google Search Engine homepage, reminding millions of people around the globe of Sally Ride, the youngest female astronaut ever in space, telling the story of the Human spirit!
Image of the Challenger Spacecraft