By the CNN Wire Staff - Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died Monday after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, her company said on its website. She was 61.
"Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment, and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless," read a statement on the Sally Ride Science website.
Ride rode to orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger almost 30 years ago to become America's first woman in space.
She is survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy, her mother, her sister, and other family members.
"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism -- and literally changed the face of America's space program," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally's family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
SPECIAL REPORT | Thousands of child care center inspections reports are NOW AVAILABLE. Find out what inspectors founds inside day care centers across the state.
SPECIAL REPORT | When it's out of your hands, when your life is at the mercy of an armed, masked man staring down at you from the barrel of a gun in your own home, you grasp at whatever it is you can control; breathing, composure, or faith.
SPECIAL REPORT | ABC2 Investigator Joce Sterman has reviewed thousands of pages of documents for her Bad Medicine report.