GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Sally Ride, 61, US astronaut, died 23 July of pancreatic cancer, 17 months after it was diagnosed. Ride, a physicist, was the first woman to be sent into space by the US space programme, Nasa. She was also, at age 32, the youngest person sent into space. Ride, with her four academic degrees, drive and enthusiasm, was widely seen as a role model for women in the sciences.
Her death was announced as the six members of the last US space flight, Endeavour, are visiting Geneva and Cern, where they will meet with the physicists and other scientists who are using the APS system they delivered to the international space station.