According to her website (sallyridescience.com), Sally Ride has passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
From the press release:
Originally posted by Business WireSally Ride died peacefully July 23, 2012 after a courageous 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment, and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless.
Sally was a physicist, the first American woman to fly in space, a science writer, and the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science. She had the rare ability to understand the essence of things and to inspire those around her to join her pursuits. ... more at Business Wire (marketwatch.com)
She might just be the last astronaut whose name I really knew and whose career I followed.
RIP and Ad Astra Tim
Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
All others things being equal, the simplest solution is usually stupidity. -- Darwin Minor
I'd also like to point out to El Nastio that researchers probably aren't chomping at the bit to perform forced abortions in order to save lives and improve our quality of life, but who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men. El Nastio is Catholic.