By Britt Bickel

Sally Ride broke down gender barriers as the first American woman in space, and inspired many more woman after her to explore the final frontiers of space.

Ride passed away Monday afternoon after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 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, via CNN.

She joined the NASA space crew in 1978 after responding to a newspaper ad, and took her history-making flight almost 30 years ago on the Challenger mission in 1983.

51502044 Remembering Sally Ride: Footage Of Her History Making Flight As The First Woman In Space

Credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Watch footage of her first flight into space to remember her legacy:


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