published Monday, July 23rd, 2012

NASA: Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, has died

  • photo
    This undated photo released by NASA shows astronaut Sally Ride. Ride, the first American woman in space, died Monday, July 23, 2012 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 61.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, has died. She was 61.

NASA confirmed her death Monday afternoon and President Barack Obama called her a national hero.

Her office in San Diego said she died of pancreatic cancer.

Ride rode into space on the shuttle Challenger in 1983 when she was 32.

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