Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two famous women

I'll get back to energy tomorrow, but I wanted to pause to remember Sally Ride, who passed away yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. In 1983 she made history as the first American woman in space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. She served other roles in the Shuttle program, including working in communications for other flights, helping to develop the Shuttle's robotic arm, going into space again on a subsequent mission, and, sadly, as part of the presidential commission to investigate the 1986 Challenger explosion. Among her roles after NASA she was a professor of physics and president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she founded to promote science education among grade schoolers. Here she is in LEGO by Pixbymaia.

In a coincidence of timing, when I went to the computer to post this, today's Google doodle celebrates another important woman in aerospace history, Amelia Earhart, as today is the 115th anniversary of her birth. Earhart made history as the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic, along with many other aviation records. She was also active in promoting women in aviation careers, and a supporter of women's rights in general. She disappeared along with navigator Fred Noonan in 1937 in the Pacific Ocean during an attempt to fly around the globe, and her body has never been found (leading to all kinds of different conspiracy theories). In fact, also in the news today is the cancellation of a search for the wreckage of her plane. Here is a LEGO form of Earhart by Fede1845.

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