Congress, NASA, White House

President, Congress react to Sally Ride’s passing

On Monday, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, passed away after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Her death, which came as a surprise to many, led to an outpouring of reaction, including from the White House and members of Congress.

“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Sally Ride,” President Obama said in a brief statement issued late Monday. “Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sally’s family and friends.”

“Dr. Sally Ride was a true American pioneer who sparked the imagination of a generation of women and girls,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in a statement. “I’ll never forget the day when as a Member of Congress I traveled to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the first American woman blast into space. On that day, Dr. Ride launched into the history books and broke down the barriers that said women weren’t good enough, smart enough or strong enough.”

“I have always greatly admired her spirit and perseverance in accomplishing her goals and I know her legacy will live on in the millions of girls and women she inspired,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). She adds that she interviewed Ride for her 2004 book American Heroines. In that interview, “Sally Ride noted that one of her favorite childhood memories was of advice given to her by her father after a particularly discouraging day at school. His advice was to ‘reach for the stars.’ And so she did.”

“She was inspiration to all of us, especially young women,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), ranking member of the House Science Committee. “Beyond her work at NASA, she provided distinguished service on a number of important national advisory commissions. At the same time, I believe one of her most lasting influences was through the work she did to interest our young girls in science and technology.”

43 comments to President, Congress react to Sally Ride’s passing

  • DCSCA

    Dr. Sally Ride successfully leveraged her noteriety through a variety of platforms to educate and inspire the young, particularly young women, to pursue their interests and develop careers in the sciences. Her efforts cannot be under stated. Locally, in the San Diego – La Jolla area, those pursuits were ongoing, usually away from the spotlight, which she often avoided. She will be missed.

    Condolences to family, friends and colleagues. Ad Astra, Dr. Ride… Ad Astra.

  • Ad astra, Dr. Ride.

    I’m currently watching on YouTube Dr. Ride’s August 12, 2009 presentation to the Augustine Committee about the various affordability scenarios that led eventually to the end of Constellation and today’s ISS/Commercial emphasis.

  • ferris valyn

    Stephen
    When I first heard of her death I also thought of her work for the Augustine committee

    At the time I thought she would be one of the most pro-Constellation voices

    Instead she was one of the strong voices about using our experince with station and learning from it

  • Ben Joshua

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-lazarus-dean/sally-ride-dead_b_1697757.html

    Dr Ride soared – in space, education, in the difficult task of helping shed light on shuttle tragedies, and helping the nation, in however small a way, to chart a new direction in spaceflight.

    Her assessment concerning future launch approaches was all about hard numbers. Her decision to leave astrophysics for NASA was all heart and dreams. I hope her life story and educational work continue to inspire, and her quiet, analytical way teaches us a thing or two about how we can better resolve issues, be they local, global or interplanetary.

  • Robert Oler's IPAD

    The sad thing about Dr Ride’s life is that because of goofy social forces on the right wing she felt that parts of her life had to remain a secret until it ended. More nuttiness from the GOP right wing. RGO

  • More nuttiness from the GOP right wing.

    More right-wing deranged nuttiness from Oler.

    Dr. Sally Ride successfully leveraged her noteriety

    Her what?

    Not only can you not spell the word, apparently you don’t even know what it means.

  • Coastal Ron

    An educator, level-headed thinker and a risk taker.

    She will be missed.

  • sawhatsis

    The comments on news articles about this are informative. They mostly involve people commenting on her status as a lesbian. The second group talk vaguely about her value as a role model.

    No one talks about her life’s work or her role on various space commissions. No one mentions what she said about funding priorities from Augustine. More evidence that people don’t care about the subject. They just want to emote.

  • MrEarl

    The real nuttiness is comming from Oler Land where everything is a partisain jab. Your credibility has long since passed.

    See Robet, It goes like this……..

    Thank you Dr. Ride for the many years and many arieas of service to you you have rendered to our nation.

  • kayawanee

    Robert Oler’s IPAD wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    The sad thing about Dr Ride’s life is that because of goofy social forces on the right wing she felt that parts of her life had to remain a secret until it ended. More nuttiness from the GOP right wing. RGO

    Really, Oler? A person, who many in this forum, on the left and right admire, has just passed, and you choose to post invective? Please just give it a rest for a little while.

    RIP, Sally.

  • DCSCA

    @Robert Oler’s IPAD wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Nonsense. She wanted the focus to be on the career sciences, not her personal life.

    @Rand Simberg wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Typos are very down-to-earth. Yet your ignorance soars. More likely, you’re simply jealous of her success.

  • Typos are very down-to-earth. Yet your ignorance soars. More likely, you’re simply jealous of her success.

    How hilariously stupid.

    Hint: She wasn’t “notorious.” She was famous. You are notorious.

  • mike shupp

    Rand Simberg-

    We’re at a funeral here for Sally Ride, a US astronaut, In the back rows, figuratively, Robert Oler and DCASA have made a few respectful remarks about the woman. Figuratively again, you’ve pressed down to the front rows, then stood up and turned around to scream at them for defaming her memory.

    Cool it, huh?

  • DCSCA

    @Rand Simberg wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    =sigh=

    notoriety: n. the fame of one’s competitor for public honors.

    Yes, you’re jealous, indeed. Show some class, Rand, cease befouling a thread honoring a fine and accomplished individual. And dress for success. She did.

  • kayawanee wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Really, Oler? A person, who many in this forum, on the left and right admire, has just passed, and you choose to post invective>>

    no, I was stating a fact…a sadness of today is that 1) people who do not fit the religious rights definition of normal cannot live their lives in the open and 2) her life partner will not be able to have normal inheritance…thanks again to the nutty right wing of the GOP; those are facts. RGO

  • MrEarl wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    The real nuttiness is comming from Oler Land where everything is a partisain jab. >>

    not partisan, it is a jab at unAmerican activities …

    as for the tribute; yours was mediocre…see my face book page. The right wing of the GOP needs to be jabbed…they have jabbed at the country for years. RGO

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Oler is being silly, Dr, Ride should be commended for not making a big deal of her personal life. It had nothing to do with the “evil right wing.” Mind, despite her undoubted accomplishments as an astronaut, teacher, and public servant, she did make a number of unwise political choices, I am not as giddy about her work on Augustine 2 as some have been. She also not only supported Obama in 2008 but also Walter Mondale in 1984. One wonders how someone who was so supportive of space exploration could do that.

  • MrEarl

    It’s not a contest Oler.
    It’s a time to remember Dr. Ride’s contributions and honor memory.

    We should expect the same from all of the posters on this thread. (Looking at you Rand.)

  • We’re at a funeral here for Sally Ride, a US astronaut, In the back rows, figuratively, Robert Oler and DCASA have made a few respectful remarks about the woman. Figuratively again, you’ve pressed down to the front rows, then stood up and turned around to scream at them for defaming her memory

    What a foolish and absurd analogy.

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Oler, by the way, is flat wrong about the ability of Ride’s partner to inherit. Domestic partnerships that allow for a same sex partner to be claimed as next of kin has been the law in California since 1999. In any case, Prop 8, which overturned legal same sex marriage in California, was supported as much by African American churches as it was by the “evil right wing.” These are facts that Oler, in his zeal to use the memory of Sally Ride to exercise his personal demons, has stumbled and fallen over.

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    “no, I was stating a fact”

    Except you’re weren’t. You’re sputtering a political opinion spin about a personal preference which has no relevence on Ms. Ride’s professional accomplishments, which go far beyond her time with NASA, an organization she left a quarter century ago. . It is beneath you, especially on this thread. If you can’t say something kind on your own about her passing, aay nothing at all. One Simberg is enough.

  • notoriety: n. the fame of one’s competitor for public honors.

    Notoriety: “Questionable fame: the condition of being well known for some unsavory or undesirable reason.”

    Someone with notoriety is notorious: “Widely and unfavorably known: a notorious gambler. Synonyms: infamous, egregious, outrageous, arrant, flagrant, disreputable.

    Sally ride was justly famous, not “notorious.”

    But we know you’ll not apologize, because you never admit error, even though almost everything you post is wrong.

  • Ben Joshua

    My admiration for Dr Ride goes even higher, knowing she chose to pursue a very public goal, despite having a personal life that was neither conventional nor well accepted at the time. This speaks volumes to me about Dr Ride’s fortitude and determination. Truly impressive.

    Context is so important to remembering the whole person, their circumstances and capabilities.

    Two unrelated and random examples:

    Remembering Gus Grissom, without knowing the lemon story, nor the fact that his Mercury hatch really did malfunction, due to a structural design defect, susceptible to damage in the landing dynamic.

    Understanding Neil Armstrong’s preparation for the 11 flight, without knowing the technical inadequacies of the LEM trainer craft, from which Armstrong ejected.

    These are different kinds of context, I’ll grant you, but illustrate the better understanding of a person that comes with knowing more than just the boilerplate bio.

    Thankyou, Sally Ride, for setting an example of a strong life. Many of us are even more impressed and inspired, now that we know your story more completely.

  • Looking at you Rand.

    Is there some reason I should care whether or not you are looking at me?

  • Coastal Ron

    Being the proud father of a daughter, I look forward to the day where it doesn’t matter that someone who went to space was female, or for that matter what their sexual orientation was, their religion (if any) was, or what their skin color or ethnicity were.

    Apparently I’ll have to wait a while…

  • DCSCA

    @mike shupp wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Rest easy, Mike. It’s probably his way of managing grief, although he’s on record on this forum holding hardware in higher value than the lives of people who ride ir. Peculiar fellow.

    The accolades for Ride are full of high praise- save a few sour apples in the conservative blogosphere; mere children when she flew aboard STS-7. Ride’s work as an educator, her tireless work with children as advocate for the sciences in the 25 years since she left NASA are an enduring legacy. She was a stellar soul. .

  • tom hancock

    Sally Ride was a great American! Who cares about the rest? That’s between her and GOD. Her partner status should have never been discussed. She never did. She kept that part of her life private. Show some respect.

  • When asked about various issues associated with being the first American woman in space Dr. Ride remarked:

    ““It’s too bad this is such a big deal. It’s too bad our society isn’t further along.”

    (source of quote
    http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/07/how-sally-ride-was-even-tougher-than-ridley-in-alien/

    How we honor people large or small is celebrating the totality of their lives…and when people are forced to keep part of their lives covert because they are afraid that society or elements on society will reject “the person” because of that part of their lives.no matter how great their intellect or accomplishments..we cheapen ourselves as a people.

    The accomplishments of Dr. Ride would have been enough for a lifetime had she been born a male and grew up in a world which until the 80′s was completely dominated by stereotypes and expected behavior by both males and females. However, what made them “unique” was that Dr. Ride was so accomplished and society had started to break down those gender molds that she was able to force her way through the “barrier” and succeed.

    What should of course be obvious was that had Dr. Ride mentioned or even been noted in terms of her sexual preferences…she would not have lasted five minutes in the astronaut corp even with her enormous talents.

    As Michael Cassutt, the author of “Who’s Who in Space,” is quoted on Space.com as saying that such an announcement would be a “career-wrecker.”

    we should be past that, but we are not because of a single political party the GOP. No matter what Whittington and Rand and all the other boobs of the far right say, had Ride been a known homosexual she would have floundered in the astronaut corps despite her enormous talent. She would have floundered in large measure because the GO P is the home of religious intolerants who demand we embrace their notions of society but are intolerant of most.

    Until we can honor those great and small for the content of their character and not their personal preferences….Rides quote at the start of this is still “operative” RGO

  • Explorer08

    This forum is living proof that the space advocacy community is loaded with nut bags.

  • vulture4

    Dr. Ride was a member of the boards that investigated both the Challenger and Columbia accidents. In the latter case the board concluded that a Shuttle replacement should be brought to operational status as expeditiously as possible, but that the Shuttle could continue to fly until the replacement was operational. Most important, they concluded that the replacement spacecraft should be designed solely to replace the Shuttle in its role of access to LEO and return to earth. They further stated that any attempt to design the replacement vehicle for a more ambitious mission (i.e. a light to the moon or Mars) would end in failure because sufficient resources were not available.

    President Bush chose to ignore these recommendations by 1) Cancelling Shuttle before a replacement was available, leaving the US without human spaceflight for years. 2) Failing to provide any US access to LEO, and 3) Planning a grandiose mission to Mars with an insufficient budjet,

  • Really sad when we all cannot come together to honor an American Hero, Sally Ride.

    God Bless You Sally… you did more than you can possibly ever know and we all are better for knowing you.

    Respectfully,
    Andrew Gasser
    TEA Party in Space

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mark R. Whittington wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Oler, by the way, is flat wrong about the ability of Ride’s partner to inherit. Domestic partnerships that allow for a same sex partner to be claimed as next of kin has been the law in California since 1999.”

    sometimes Mark you are just as ignorant as Palin. Due to legislation Federal benefits are denied to same sex partners…the GOP congress under Bush made sure of this.

    RGO

  • adastramike

    I met Dr. Ride as a teen and feel extremely honored that I was able to. She was an inspiration to many people, and I remember her being very humble. It was great she was willing to take time to share her space flight experience with students. I still have her signed book on the solar system. That’s one thing we need more of in this world: scientists and educators who can relate their experiences and passion to young people.

  • DCSCA

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 10:52 pm
    “we should be past that, but we are not because of a single political party the GOP.”

    Oler, this is utterly irrelevant to the legacy of Dr. Ride. A legacy that flourshed for nearly a quarter century after she left the NASA payroll.

    “What should of course be obvious was that had Dr. Ride mentioned or even been noted in terms of her sexual preferences…she would not have lasted five minutes in the astronaut corp even with her enormous talents.
    As Michael Cassutt, the author of “Who’s Who in Space,” is quoted on Space.com as saying that such an announcement would be a “career-wrecker.”

    Speculation. Hindsight. And utterly irrelevant. Obsessive on your part as well. Cassutt knows very well the many things that could be a ‘career wrecker’ – with more astronauts than shuttle seats to ride at NASA in that era. And, of course, changes in Ride’s personal life- marriage, divorece, partnersgip- occured while at NASA and as she left in ’87. Cassutt knows that back in the day, a simple divorce was a career problem in the AO. You’re just using this as a screen to hype this strained political spin of yours.

    NASA was very aware of Lisa Nowak’s ‘sexual preferences’ along w/t others in the astronaut office she worked and played with and she lasted a lot longer than five minutes.- until she blew a gasket. =eyeroll= Your obsession with Dr. Ride’s personal life is creepy, Oler, and your attempts to paint it with some self-serving political POV is low, even for you– particularly just a day or so after her passing.

    Sure, in 1978, when her class was selected, had the NASA management of that era become aware in the recruitment process, there’s a chance she’d not have been selected as an astronaut– but that kind of discrimination is quite illegal as you well know; it’s just as likely that she’d have been given a ground assignment and never flown- ‘transferred to Tulsa’ as they say in the oil biz– and certainly not selected and subjected to the PR spotlight of scrutiny as the first U.S. woman in space. Except she was. And she did just fine. Billie Jean King was outted in ’81 and still playe tennis. Context of the times is everything.

    Leave this alone, Oler. It’s beneath you.

  • DCSCA

    @Coastal Ron wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    “Being the proud father of a daughter, I look forward to the day where it doesn’t matter that someone who went to space was female, or for that matter what their sexual orientation was, their religion (if any) was, or what their skin color or ethnicity were.

    Apparently I’ll have to wait a while…”

    Maybe not. Firsts are always benchmarked and Ride’s was big for American society. Tereshkova flew 20 yers earlier for the Soviets in ’62; their society having a decidedly different roles for women. More recently, the PRC flew a mom. We’ve got female fighter pilots, airline pilots and after the U.S. whoopla in ’95. Collins piloted a shuttle and commanded in ’99 and ’05. Routine stuff by then. Ride’s life before, during and especially after NASA is one any daughter can admire or source to inspire.

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Oler really needs to stop digging. I quoted California statute that refuted him utterly. He really needs to let this go. Ride was a great woman in many respects, but Oler is attempting to diminish her in order to bloviate about his strange political obsessions. Her sexual preference, which she preferred to keep private for personal reasons, has no bearing in the discussion. Oler should respect that with his silence.

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Oh, and Oler is wrong about federal benefits and same sex couples as well. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996, under President Clinton, not Bush. Last February Obama moved to grant same sex couples certain federal benefits under executive order.

  • President Bush chose to ignore these recommendations by 1) Cancelling Shuttle before a replacement was available, leaving the US without human spaceflight for years. 2) Failing to provide any US access to LEO, and 3) Planning a grandiose mission to Mars with an insufficient budjet,

    There was no plan for a mission to Mars under Bush. Where do you come up with this kind of ignorance?

  • sometimes Mark you are just as ignorant as Palin.

    There are apparently no times that you are not more so.

    Due to legislation Federal benefits are denied to same sex partners…the GOP congress under Bush made sure of this.

    What legislation would that be?

  • No matter what Whittington and Rand and all the other boobs of the far right say

    I am neither a “boob” or “of the far right.” You seem to be a deranged lunatic on the subject, though.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mark R. Whittington wrote @ July 25th, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Oh, and Oler is wrong about federal benefits and same sex couples as well. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996, under President Clinton, not Bush. Last February Obama moved to grant same sex couples certain federal benefits under executive order.>>

    Whittington. DOMA is aproduct of the religious right wing of the GOP I think it is a Bob Barr thing…If there was not the right wing of the GOP there would be no issue of same sex partners and federal benefits.

    Clinton did sign it, but DOMA is a product of the right wing of the GOP which is trying to defend it as it works its way through the courts.

    Sorry Mark, you and Rand are part of a party of not only boobs but intolerants. What did Sarah Palin’s grandkid call her Aunt? Goofy RGO

  • Jeff Foust

    I am disappointed, but somehow not surprised, at how the conversation has devolved. Time to end this, unfortunately.