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The staff of the Sally Ride Science issued the following statement: "Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment, and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless...She had the rare ability to understand the essence of things and to inspire those around her to join her pursuits. "
After retiring from NASA, Ride founded Sally Ride Science to inspire young people, especially girls, to become scientifically literate and to consider pursuing careers in science and engineering.
In 1977, with degrees in physics and English from Stanford University, Ride answered an ad in the Stanford student newspaper saying that NASA was looking for astronauts.
Eight thousand applied and thirty-five, including the first six women allowed in the space program, were chosen to join the astronaut corps.
Ride took her first ride into space on on June 18, 1983, as a mission specialist for mission STS-7 aboard the shuttle Challenger.
NASA official portrait of Astronaut Sally K. Ride, taken in 1984.