SAN DIEGO — Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, a pioneering astronaut, brilliant physicist and dedicated educator who inspired the nation, was commemorated on a Forever stamp.
“Sally Ride’s history-making journey has made it easier for young girls to dream of one day being an astronaut, an engineer, a physicist or a mathematician. Today, girls don’t just dream. Because of trailblazers like Sally Ride, they have been empowered to do!” said U.S. Postal Service Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President Kristin Seaver.
Joining Seaver were Pradeep K. Khosla, chancellor at UC San Diego; Becky Petitt, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion at UC San Diego, who will serve as master of ceremonies; Billie Jean King, tennis legend, champion of social justice and Ride’s friend; Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman in space, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and another friend of Ride; and Tam O’Shaughnessy, co-founder and executive director of Sally Ride Science @ U C San Diegoand Ride’s widow.
“Sally started collecting stamps when she was a girl, and she continued to do so her whole life —especially stamps of the Olympics and space exploration,” said O’Shaughnessy. “Sally would be deeply honored to have her portrait on a U.S. stamp.” “I admired Sally for her intellect that she applied as a scientist, her focus and passion for STEM education, and her astounding competence in so many areas, including her critical contributions to NASA and the nation,” said Ochoa.
“As much in demand as she was, she always made time to meet with young women who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I am thrilled to be part of the Sally Ride Forever stamp dedication, continuing her legacy of inspiring people across the country, and indeed around the world.”
The stamp art features a colorful portrait of Ride in her light blue space suit with a dramatic depiction of a space shuttle lifting off in the background. Sketched first in charcoal and then rendered in oil paint, artist Paul Salmon of Burke, VA, reflects her positivity and confident spirit, as well as the excitement and danger of space travel.
San Diego: Eva Jackson
National: Mark Saunders