When Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space, in 1983, I kept thinking, “Why did it take us so long to do what the Russians did twenty years ago?” It’s kind of sad that the Cold War mentality kept me, at eleven years of age, from realizing how inspiring Ride’s efforts were. That, and I honestly could not understand why we’d made space a boy’s club for so long.

I’m saddened to hear of Ride’s passing, too early, from pancreatic cancer. If I could pick one cancer to eradicate with a wave of a magic wand, that would be the one.

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