Sally Ride on a Space Shuttle flight. Courtesy Sally Ride Science

The maiden flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, now set for 7:05 a.m. Friday, will carry the the Space Shuttle patch Dr. Sally Ride wore when she became the first American woman to fly in space.

“When Sally became the first American woman to soar into space, she captured the nation’s imagination as a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers,” said the late astronaut and UC San Diego professor’s partner, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy. “But Sally’s historic flight represented just one aspect of a remarkable life — she was also a physicist, a science writer, and an inspirational advocate for science literacy.”

“It is only fitting that NASA’s Orion spacecraft — designed to carry humans to deep space and eventually to Mars — carry her STS-7 crew patch and an excerpt from The Mystery of Mars on its maiden flight,” said O’Shaughnessy, who co-authored the children’s book with Ride and is CEO of Sally Ride Science.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep-space return velocities.

Sally Ride Science was founded in 2001 by Ride and O’Shaughnessy to help educators in grades 3-8 spark and sustain student interest in STEM topics and careers.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.