Science

A statue of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will be unveiled at the Cradle of Aviation.

A statue of the first American woman to fly into space will soon stand near the site where the first spacecraft was built to land on the moon, just as NASA is working to land the first woman on the moon.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum of Aviation in Garden City, New York, will feature a memorial to Sally Ride, who, as a NASA astronaut, made history flying the space shuttle in 1983. A monument to the late astronaut will be unveiled during a public ceremony on June 17. , just one day before the 39th anniversary of Ride’s first launch.

“We are honored to have this sculpture of the first American woman in space in the museum’s permanent collection,” said Andy Parton, president of Cradle of Aviation.

A gold and bronze statue to be installed in the new “Sally Ride Circle” at the entrance to the museum will welcome visitors who come to learn more about the history of aviation and space in the Long Island area. In addition to displaying more than 70 aircraft, Cradle of Aviation also showcases the LM-13, an unused Apollo Lunar Module that was built at the nearby Grumman Aircraft Engineering facility in Bethpage, New York.

Biography of Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space

Clay layout

A clay mock-up of the “First American Woman in Space” statue dedicated to the late Sally Ride was unveiled on June 17, 2022 outside the Cradle Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York. (Image credit: Lundeen Sculpture/Steven Barber via collectSPACE.com)

The monument, titled “The First American Woman in Space”, depicts Ride in a one-piece flight suit and space shuttle flight jacket. She is shown stepping forward, Ride’s right arm outstretched as she holds a model of a space shuttle orbiter in the sky.

The wings and vertical stabilizers (tail) of the shuttles were also built by Grumman at Bethpage.

A native of Los Angeles, Ride was a young tennis player and national-level physicist before joining the NASA astronauts in 1978. from two of her missions.

She later launched STS-41G to observe the Earth and demonstrate possible methods for refueling satellites. It was the first flight with two women.

Sally Ride was one of the first six NASA women to be trained and the first American woman to fly into space in June 1983.

Sally Ride was one of the first six NASA women to be trained and the first American woman to fly into space in June 1983. (Image credit: NASA)

After leaving NASA, Ride served as a physics professor and co-founded Sally Ride Science with her life partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, to motivate young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Ride’s closest connection, at least geographically, to the Cradle of Aviation was her year as founding president of Space.com, leading the New York-based company and its efforts to develop student education programs.

Ride died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 61 in 2012.

“I really hope that once Sally Ride is unveiled, she will open the floodgates for other monuments to the high achievement of American women in STEM,” said Steven Barber, the documentary filmmaker whose idea was to erect the statue and who organized it. . creation and placement.

The statue is a gift from the “Cradle of Aviation” from the Matson Family Foundation, Peter Diamandis on behalf of the XPRIZE Foundation and Maria Shriver. It was created by Colorado sculptors and brothers George and Mark Landin in collaboration with fellow artist Joey Beiner.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum is offering to engrave the bricks to line the new Sally Ride Circle that will surround the monument to the first American woman in space.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum is offering to engrave the bricks to line the new Sally Ride Circle that will surround the monument to the first American woman in space. (Image credit: Cradle of Aviation Museum)

Ride’s statue is the fourth tribute to the astronauts by the Lundin brothers and the third by Barber. They previously carved a statue of Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert for the National Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol, a monument to Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, which stands at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and statues of Apollo. Crew of 13 James Lovell, Fred Hayes and Swigert for Space Center Houston.

Duplicate statues of Swigert and Apollo 11 stand at Denver International Airport in Colorado and Appleton International Airport in Wisconsin, respectively.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum hosts an essay competition for middle and high school students celebrating Ride’s life and achievements and her contributions to space exploration. The winner will unveil the monument during a ceremony on June 17.

The museum is also currently accepting orders for engraved bricks to face the new Sally Ride circle surrounding the statue. Available for donations of $125 or more, the bricks may have the name of a family or loved one written on them, as well as a picture of a business or organization. Funds raised from the bricks will help support Cradle of Aviation’s conservation efforts and educational programs.

on Facebook and Twitter at @collectSPACE. Copyright 2022 collectSPACE.com. All rights reserved.

Back to top button