The Joplin Globe
“Space used to be a man’s world. Then came Sally Ride, who blazed a cosmic trial into orbit for U.S. women. With a pitch-perfect name out of a pop song refrain, she joined the select club of American space heroes the public knew by heart: Shepard, Glenn, Armstrong and Aldrin.”
It was an almost poetic beginning by The Associated Press about the end of the life of Sally Ride, 61, who died Monday of pancreatic cancer.
We remember her as the first American woman in orbit, flying into space on the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983.
But we should also thank her for her work motivating our children to learn more about science. She wrote five science books for children, and headed her own company helping push youths toward careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Ride is often heralded as a role model for women.
We see her as a pioneer who could provide a lesson for all of us: Dare to break the barriers.
As we remember Ride today, perhaps it’s appropriate to mention the name of Amelia Earhart. Born 115 years ago Tuesday, she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were lost on their July 1937 flight from New Guinea to Howland Island in the central Pacific Ocean.
Earhart was trying to become the first woman to fly around the planet.
Perhaps somewhere out there today in the galaxy, these two bright stars will find each other.
We believe their lights will continue to guide adventurers for many generations to come.