Dr. Sally Ride became an American hero as the first American woman in space in 1983. After two shuttle trips and eight years with NASA, she returned to academia as a physicist and for several years concentrated on climate change. She was a role model for thousands of American girls (and boys), encouraging them to study math and science and inspiring them with information via her company, Sally Ride Science.

Dr. Ride died yesterday after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. In her honor, I’m re-posting a conversation I had with her in 2009 about her books, “Mission: Planet Earth” and “Mission: Save The Planet,” both aimed at getting kids to understand the science and urging them to action at the local level. We also discussed what role she believes government should play in solving the climate problem, as well as what she sees as the future of NASA.

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