Tag Archives: Inspiration

How did Sally Ride inspire you?

A week ago we were shocked to learn that Sally Ride died from pancreatic cancer.  We quickly shared memories with one another – whether they were of her first spaceflight, getting her autograph, or participating in a Sally Ride Science event.

Not only was Sally Ride just 25 when she was selected as a member of the first Shuttle class of Astronauts, she was also one of a handful of women chosen for the first time to be a NASA Astronaut. When she was the first American woman to fly in space in 1983 she became broke down barriers that people today don’t even question.

I “discovered” human spaceflight in late 1985 as a fifth grader.  Sally Ride being the first woman to fly in space was a reality that I didn’t examine.  It simply was what it was.  The thought that I couldn’t become an astronaut because I was a girl never crossed my mind.  And honestly, until her death I didn’t realize that it was only a period of two years between her first flight and the birth of my dream to become an astronaut.  What if I discovered spaceflight three years earlier?  Would society have taught me it was something not for girls?  What if I was born in the 60s?  Would I not be an aerospace engineer today?  I am who I am because of how history was shaped.  What if  just one of the Mercury 13 members had been chosen by NASA? Who would they have inspired to reach for the stars?

While I never attributed Sally Ride for directly inspiring me, without a doubt she was part of the NASA that did inspire me to follow my dreams.

Now the question is how did Sally Ride inspire you?


Questions on NASA’s Future

(Originally posted on March 1, 2010 on the Space Tweep Society Blog.)

Earlier this month I shared with you my thoughts on NASA’s new vision and how the new vision could fail. And the weekend before the budget was unveiled I wrote about what I thought NASA should pursue in its future.

There has been no shortage of people sharing their thoughts on the FY2011 budget and the revamping of NASA and that is exactly how it should be.  People should be heard.  To date, the blog post in my opinion that sums things up the best is Changing Horses in Mid Stream.  If you haven’t read this one yet, it’s worth the time.

However, have you noticed that there isn’t a consensus in what is being said?  Which way should NASA go?  There are different camps.  Which one are you in?  Are you in the commercial camp?  The NASA only camp?  The Constellation camp?  The extend Shuttle camp?  There are too many to list.

Answer the following questions and include the why…then come back and see how I answered them.

1) Should Constellation be saved?

2) Should Shuttle be extended to close the gap?

3) Should NASA perform exploration missions while developing new R&D technogologies that will get us to Mars?

4) Is a heavy-lift vehicle required to leave LEO?

5) Why is inspiration important to the future of NASA?

*Comments have been ported over.