Astronaut, physicist, and American science hero Sally Ride died yesterday of pancreatic cancer, at 61. Dr. Ride was the first American female in space, and left a vast legacy of scientific accomplishments. When her astronaut days ended, she worked to promote space and science literacy to young people around the world through Sally Ride Science.
As friends and professional associates knew, and as was quietly noted in the obituary released on her website, Ms. Ride had been in a committed relationship with a woman for some 27 years. She met her partner Tam O'Shaughnessy nearly 50 years ago. Neither her cancer diagnosis nor her orientation were publicly shared, prior to her death.
Sally Ride's sister, Bear Ride, addressed this very personal aspect of Sally's very private life in comments to Buzzfeed today. "We consider Tam a member of the family," she told Chris Geidner.
"The pancreatic cancer community is going to be absolutely thrilled that there's now this advocate that they didn't know about. And, I hope the GLBT community feels the same," Bear, who identifies as gay, told Buzzfeed. "I hope it makes it easier for kids growing up gay that they know that another one of their heroes was like them."
Asked about those who would have opposed legal recognition of her sister's relationship, Bear Ride bluntly replied, "Who cares about them, really? There are those who are stubbornly ignorant, and if they want to continue in that, God bless them, but probably best not to talk to my family."
The rest of the interview is well worth a read. More about Dr. Ride in our post from the day she died.
Who needs the Onion? “Don’t know how long it’s going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda.”
Well, this is big. NASA today revealed that new findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide “the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.”
From NASA’s New Horizons Image Gallery, this is described as a “high-resolution enhanced color view” of the distant world.
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