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Following in Her Footsteps

by edlu | on Jul 23, 2012 | No Comments

I didn’t know Sally Ride well, but I did follow in her footsteps.   Sally was a graduate student in astrophysics at Stanford when she was selected as an astronaut.  I joined the same department about 6 years after she left, and remember seeing her picture on the wall among the astrophysics alumni.  By then, she had already flown her first flight into space aboard the Space Shuttle.  I first met her a few years later after she retired from NASA and came back as a visitor to Stanford, where she would occasionally attend our weekly astrophysics colloquium talks.  She was very nice and took the time to answer my naive questions about NASA.  It was many years later when I was a member of the astronaut corps myself that I next spoke to her.  By then, she had started the Sally Ride Science, and was working to motivate kids to study science.  I admired how she was turning her experiences as an astronaut towards inspiring our next generation of scientists.  In the end perhaps that will be her most important legacy.  RIP.

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