Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. She was 61.
Ride was an American space hero and obituaries noted all that she achieved before and after she headed into space aboard the Challenger on June 18, 1983.
The “first lady of space” is also being remembered as the loving partner of 27 years to Tam O’Shaughnessy.
News that Ride was gay is now the news of the day. With U.S. outlets chasing the story, here’s what is being said and reported about the posthumous revelation:
1. Ride didn’t like to talk about her personal life. ”Her personal feelings were just that: personal. Not right or wrong — simply Sally,” the astonaut’s sister, Bear Ride, wrote to msnbc. ”Everyone who knows her well really got that about her.”
2. Ride and O’Shaughnessy became friends at the age of 12 when they both played tennis.
3. The two became a pair in 1985.
4. The couple co-authored four books including “Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System.”
5. Ride did not hide her relationship. “They were partners, business partners in Sally Ride Science, they wrote books together,” writes Ride’s sister, Bear. “Sally’s very close friends, of course, knew of their love for each other. We consider Tam a member of our family.”
See also: 14 astronauts we know by name
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