It's been a great week for diversity in space - the 50 year anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becoming the first woman in space, the 30th anniversary of Sally Ride becoming the first American woman in space, and NASA naming a new class of astronauts that included as many women as men for the first time. This is progress!
In particular, Sally Ride holds a special place for me. She flew on the Challenger spacecraft in June 1983, only years before the Challenger incident. Challenger led to many schools and media (shout out to my 3-2-1- Contact magazine subscription) to focus heavily on NASA an the space industry, which served as one of my entry points into becoming a space geek. Ride passed away in July 2012, while I was one of my many NASA trips that would't have been possible without the outreach of astronauts like her.
More diverse space in sciences is a boon for everyone. Different experiences and outlooks are always an asset, whether it's in a corporate boardroom or being tethered of a space station. Little boys and girls from different backgrounds need to have heroes that represent the diverse suite of people that comprise the world.
Check out some great videos honoring her legacy below!