Posted: 10:19a.m. IST, July 24, 2012
Washington, July 24 (ANI): Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel into space, has died at the age of 61 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
She had blasted off in the US space shuttle Challenger in June 1983.
Since her first mission in 1983, over 45 women from the US and other countries have flown in space, including two as shuttle commanders.
According to the BBC, US President Barack Obama said he was 'deeply saddened' to hear about her death.
As the first American woman to travel into space, Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model, Obama said in a statement.
Ride was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California, attending Stanford University for master's and doctorate degrees in physics.
According to her foundation, Ride applied to NASA after seeing an ad in the Stanford student newspaper, calling for scientists and engineers, including women to apply to the astronaut corps. (ANI)