Sally Ride, who was born on May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles and went on to be the first American woman in space, inspiring future female astronauts like Dottie Metcalfe-Lindenburger, 37, died today at the age of 61 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

"I grew up during the shuttle age so I was really excited in the second grade when we started flying the shuttle and I remember watching that in our class," said Metcalfe-Lindenburger, reports ABC News. "Somehow I realized that women could become astronauts."

Ride, who flew in 1983 and 1984 on the space shuttle Challenger, was a NASA legend. "Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment and love," said her coworkers at the Sally Ride Science organization. "Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless."

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  • christopherclarke
    christopherclarke on

    What a brave woman!

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