Ok Internet, we get it: Sally Ride was the first American Woman in space, not the actual first woman in space. But let’s be honest, just going into space is pretty big achievement. It’s sort of like completing Ninja Warrior, just finishing is an accomplishment.
But it turns out that the internet isn’t always a happy and loving place. . . Who knew? Every article on Sally Ride in some way emphasizes the American nature of her accomplishment. . . Or somebody brings up her not so pleasant personality. . . Oh wait, oops.
But let’s focus on the things that she did do. First of all, there’s that whole astronaut thing, something that only 0.0000086% of this planet’s population has ever achieved. After that, most just go on to take a cushy corporate gig at a defense contractor and live of their prior accomplishment for the rest of their lives. Here’s what she did after the whole astronaut gig:
- Led the first NASA Strategic planning effort
- Served on both Challenger’s and Columbia’s accident investigation board
- Wrote 5 children’s books
- Taught physics at the college level
- Started her own company to encourage girls to engage in science and math
Despite all these and many other achievements people are focusing on things that aren’t really important. Anyone who writes an article that does anything other than report her death or extol her virtues is simply trying to draw web traffic and get their commenters fired up. Shame on you all.
After achieving something that so few had before, she could have taken the easy road, but instead she stayed in the fight to improve education, diversify our science and engineering fields, enlightened young minds, and work to make space travel safer and more robust. For all of these things, she should be honored, and deserves all the praise we can give her. Beyond this there is simply nothing else to discuss.
Ride, Sally, Ride.