The following is a statement from former NASA astronaut Steve Hawley regarding the death of fellow astronaut Sally Ride. Hawley was selected into the astronaut corps in 1978 and was married to Ride from 1982 until 1987. A veteran of five space shuttle flights, he left the agency in 2008 and now is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
"Sally was a very private person who found herself a very public persona. It was a role in which she was never fully comfortable. I was privileged to be a part of her life and be in a position to support her as she became the first American woman to fly in space.
While she never enjoyed being a celebrity, she recognized that it gave her the opportunity to encourage children, particularly young girls, to reach their full potential.
Sally Ride, the astronaut and the person, allowed many young girls across the world to believe they could achieve anything if they studied and worked hard. I think she would be pleased with that legacy."
For more information about Ride and her NASA career, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/Ocn6h7
For more information about Hawley, visit: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/hawley.html