POSTING BY JB MADDAWG
“A well-behaved woman never made history”.
Absolute garbage, if you ask me. A slap in the face to all the women that play by the rules and do things the right way. A prime example is the woman we lost today at age 61, astronaut Sally Ride. The first American woman, and youngest, to go into space, Ride was one of the true pioneers of the space program. She had a way of looking at things in the program completely different, and proved it in every situation she was in with NASA.
Ride strangely enough entered NASA through a newspaper ad, back in 1978. She was stationed with CAPCOM, which is basically ground communications to the orbiter for the second and third shuttle missions. Ride got her chance to make her mark in 1983, as the first American woman to enter orbit. And although Ride only had two space missions, she didn’t waste a moment of opportunity. After a total log of 343 hours in space, the female astronaut would help develop one of the most used items on the shuttle, the robotic arm, and was also the first to use the arm and retrieve a satellite. In NASA’s world, that’s quite a resume. In fact, astronauts that usually receive such accolades were named Glenn, Aldrin and Shepard. Ride was a throwback astronaut, with guts, integrity and an “anything’s possible” attitude.
Her PhD in physics and mission patches not withstanding, it’s my belief that Ride’s greatest accomplishment came here on the ground. Back before the Challenger explosion, a man named Roger Boisjoly tried to tell anyone that would listen that there was a a defect in the shuttle’s “O” ring design, when cold temperatures came into play. The only person that didn’t mock or turn a blind eye to Boisjoly was Sally Ride. She publicly supported the man and his warnings, and space flight history would be very different if just a few people would have listened to either of them.
That was Sally Ride. By the book, procedure after procedure. Behaved? Sally Ride was probably one of the most disciplined men or women to ever put on a NASA uniform. Ride continued on after the space program to teach physics at the University of California, and left a legacy of introducing science, and co-authored five books for children on the subject.
I hope people will truly honor what an American such as Sally Ride did for her country, as we say goodbye to her. We live in a world were people such as the Kardashians, Madonna and Sharon Osbourne are idolized as “strong female role models”, and women that work hard, play by the rules and live a responsible life are demonized. As for me, I’ll be teaching my daughter that a woman like Sally Ride did behave. And not only did she make history, she shaped it.
Godspeed, Sally Ride. You’re coming up all greens on the Flight Monitor’s console.