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Sally Ride, 61, died Monday at her home in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She made history as the first female NASA astronaut to fly in space.

Her company, Sally Ride Science, released this statement: “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.”

Ride joined NASA in 1978 and became the youngest U.S. astronaut in history to enter space five years later at the age of 32. Sally flew into orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 and made a second trip aboard the same shuttle one year later.

President Barack Obama remarked, “Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars and later fought tirelessly to help them get there by advocating for a greater focus on science and math in our schools.”

Hear Sally in her own words below:

Photo Credit: Video Grabs