Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on November 20th. Her life partner Tam O’Shaughnessy accepted the award on behalf of Ride who passed away in 2012 at the age of 61. NASA administrator Charles Bolden said, „Dr. Sally Ride was more than an astronaut–she was an American treasure. Thanks to Sally’s work throughout her lifetime, young women and girls can now aspire to fly in space.”
IWASM also currently honors the 30th anniversary of her first mission with an exhibit. On June 18, 1983 Ride flew on her historic space shuttle mission that was some 20 years after the Soviet Union sent Valentina Tereshkova into space as the first woman cosmonaut. While eight other astronauts have won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Ride is the first woman astronaut to achieve such an honor. The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States.
Source / Author: International Women’s Air & Space Museum
Photo: International Women’s Air & Space Museum