A true American pioneer, Sally Ride has passed away at age 61 after a 17 month battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

Flying aboard the Challenger in 1983, she made US history. She flew again on the same shuttle a year later. A physist as well as an astronaut, she helped design the robotic arm that made the shuttles (and later the ISS) so versatile and successful.

She also served on the two review boards overseeing the destruction of the Challenger and the Columbia.