President Barack Obama has posthumously awarded fomer astronaut and first US female in orbit, Dr. Sally Ride, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award is the highest US civilian honour that can been bestowed.
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Space Year 2012 review: Sad Departures as Neil Armstrong and other space greats pass away during year (Updated)
Several space notable personalities passed away during 2012. Probably the most famous was former NASA Apollo 11 astronaut and space great, Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the Moon. Also this year, in July it was reported that the well respected scientist and astronaut, Dr Sally Ride, the first US woman in space also died in the year.
After a national service of remembrance was held at the Washington National Cathedral the day before, the cremated ashes of Apollo 11 commander and first moonwalker, Neil Armstrong, were finally put into the Atlantic in a ceremonial burial service on hte USS Philippine Sea on 14 September. Also in attendance at the service were members of Armstrong’s family including Armstrong’s son Eric (Rick). The while the final sea burial was performed by his wife Carol, the ceremony itself had most of the elements of a traditional US Navy burial at sea including a formal rifle salute.
We are sad to report that Dr Sally Ride, the first US woman to fly in space has passed away at the age of 61 after a 17 month battle Pancreatic cancer. Having joined NASA in1978, Dr Ride gained fame on her space shuttle flight aboard STS-7 Challenger in 1983 become America’s first female astronaut (she was the third woman in space). Dr Ride flew again on the STS-41G Challenger mission in 1984. Dr Ride later served on the Rodgers commission investigating the causes of the STS-51L Challenger launch disaster in 1986 which killed seven fellow astronauts. She later served on the investigation panel for the STS-107 Columbia launch-induced re-entry disaster. Before that she had gained a degrees in English/Physics and went on to do a Masters and a PhD degree in Physics.
It is sad to note that media sources are reporting the demise of the small satellite maker AeroAstro. According to the reports, Comtech Telecommunications Corp decided to shut down its AeroAstro devision after the US Navy cancelled the construction of its JMAPS mission spacecraft earlier this year.
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