Five kinds of doodles have been created for Ride’s tribute and the user needs to refresh their homescreen to view all of them. Ride was also the first known LGBT astronaut. She was born in Los Angeles in 1951 and began her tryst with NASA in 1978 and flew twice on the space shuttle Challenger.
Ride served as the director of the California Space Institute and professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, after she quit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Created by artist Olivia Huynh and animator Nate Swinehart today’s Google Doodle provides the user an overall view of Ride’s life. In a guest blog written for Google, her life-partner Tam O’Shaughnessy wrote that Ride was dedicated to inspiring young girls towards taking up careers in STEM (science, technology, and maths).
“As the first American woman in space, Sally Ride—who would have been 64 today—captured the nation’s imagination as a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers. But her historic flight represented just one aspect of a remarkable and multifaceted life. She was also a physicist, a science writer, and an inspirational advocate for keeping kids excited about science as they go through school,” O’Shaughnessy wrote in the blog.
O’Shaughnessy further wrote that Ride, after her two space missions abroad the Challenger, realised and understood “how important it is for all of us to take care of our fragile home in space, and became an environmentalist”.
Ride was an inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and was also awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal twice.
Ride was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The 61-year-old physicist passed away in July 2012 after she lost the 17-month-old fight to cancer.
The U.S. Navy announced in April 2013 that a research ship would be named in honour of Ride.