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What's with the name?

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Sally Ride

We Have Done the Impossible and That Makes Us Mighty

Sally Ride Honored With the Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor the United States can award, created to recognize “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” In a ceremony yesterday, President Obama announced that he will be posthumously awarding the Medal to Sally Ride, the third woman, and first American woman, in space.


We Can Be Heroes

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the First Latina in Space, Is Now the Johnson Space Center’s Second Female Director, Too

When it comes to writing about female astronauts, our coverage here at The Mary Sue tends to be somewhat Sunita Williams-centric. (She’s awesome, OK?) But here’s another lady astronaut you should know: Dr. Ellen Ochoa, who this month becomes the second female and first Hispanic director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

She was also the first Latina in space, if you need more impressing.

Oh, and she’s also a classical flutist. That instrument was the bane of my existence in the fourth grade, so anyone who can play it without passing out gets my respect, even without also being an awesome astronaut.


she blinded me with science

Women Who Changed Science Now Beautiful Minimalist Posters

Artist, designer, and Tumblrer Hydrogene has put together a series of six minimalist posters featuring the work of women who changed the face of science, and history. For example, the now eighty-five-year-old Rear Admiral Grace Hopper developed the first computer compiler, came up with the idea that we should really create a programming language that would work on more than one individual computer, and popularized the term “bug” and “debugging” in their use in computer programming, after fishing a moth out of the workings of the Mark II supercomputer in 1947.

(Hydrogene Portfolio via Tumblr.)



Girl Scouts of America and Geek Squad Team Up To Inspire Geeky Girls

In an effort to bolster girls’ interest in science and technology, Girl Scouts of America has invited the Geek Squad summer academy to New Orleans this August, where 200 girls aged 10 to 14 will pull apart and rebuild computers and learn about the technology behind digital photography and music.


so long and thanks for all the fish

R.I.P Sally Ride, America’s First Female Astronaut

It was merely a month ago that we were jointly celebrating two occasions: Liu Yang becoming China’s first female taikonaut, and the twenty-ninth anniversary of Sally Ride‘s inaugural voyage on the Challenger shuttle, the one that made her the third woman to go to space, and the first one to be put there by the American space program. Yesterday evening we received the sad news: Sally Ride has succumbed to pancreatic cancer after a two-year illness, dying at the age of sixty-one.


Today in Boobs

As China’s First Woman Sits In Space, Sally Ride Celebrates The 29th Anniversary Of Her Mission

We were thrilled to bring you the news last week that China had chosen Liu Yang as their first woman astronaut. Read on for details about the launch, which coincidentally enough, happened very close to the anniversary of trail blazer Sally Ride’s first space mission. 


Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: The Official Wonder Woman Mrs. Potato Head

Sprung fully formed fromt the potato head of Zeus. (Comics Alliance)


It Came From Outer Space

Phillip Bond Draws Lovely, Quirky Portraits of Eight Barrier-Breaking Female Astronauts

For years now, comic artist Phillip Bond has been taking a break from penciling comic pages by glancing at a few photos of a female astronaut and then trying to draw, ink, and color that quick impression. But beyond offering artistic interpretation and historical tidbits, Bond manages to imbue each portrait with a healthy helping of personality.

Above: Valentina Tereshkova, whose three-day spaceflight in 1963 made her the first woman in space.


Almost Totally Excellent

Fascinating: President Obama and Nichelle Nichols Giving the Vulcan Salute

Senior Representative of the United Federation of Planets Nyota Uhura stopped by the White House last night as part of an on going series of talks about the United States’ space presence in the future.

Well, actually, Nichelle Nichols, the actress who plays Uhura and who has worked with NASA for years, helping to recruit female and minority personnel, including Dr. Sally Ride and Colonel Guion Bluford, the first American woman and African-American person in space, had the opportunity to stop by the White House Tuesday night and meet the President, since she was in town for a NASA event. Here’s two simply awesome things from her Twitter:

Months ago Pres Obama was quoted as saying that he’d had a crush on me when he was younger. I asked about that & he proudly confirmed it!

President Obama also confirmed for me that he was defintely a Trekker! How wonderful is that?!

(via The Hollywood Reporter.)

Previously in Nichelle Nichols

Things We Saw Today

Today We Saw: The Napoleon Dynamite Cartoon

Fox announced its new primetime lineup, and a Napoleon Dynamite cartoon was on the schedule! It starts mid-season, Sunday nights at 8:30 PM Eastern Time. It’ll only be your favorite cartoon ever. (At AV Club)