the secret love of the first NASA astronaut with a tennis player for whom she left her husband

Kristen Stewart will play the third woman to go to space in the series Challenger. Sally Ride nHe never dared to reveal his homosexuality. When he died of cancer, his girlfriend went public with their 27-year romance.

In a world that increasingly tweets her most intimate feelings with strangers, if she were still alive, Sally Ride I would have done just the opposite. Died at the age of 61 in 2012 due to pancreatic cancer, this woman became the heroine of millions of girls after becoming the first American astronaut to explore outer space for just over 17 days. Before her there were only two women to achieve it, the Russians Valentina Tereshkova (87) in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaja (75) in 1982.

The life of this fascinating woman is about to be filmed in miniseries format. The one who will step into her shoes will be Kristen Stewart (34), which will mark the television debut of the protagonist of the saga. Twilight.

Ride milestone took place June 18, 1983 as part of the team Challenger shuttle on the STS-7 mission. The following year he flew again to spend just over 343 hours in space and while he was preparing his third trip, the greatest catastrophe in aerospace history occurred as the Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986, causing the death of its seven crew members. 77 seconds after takeoff. Sally never flew again and, failing that, he decided to thoroughly investigate what had happened with that accident that forever changed the parameters on which NASA had been governed.

Of Norwegian origin, Sally was a matric student who achieved Degree in Physics at the prestigious Stanford Universality. Subsequently earned his doctorate, he completed different master’s degrees and became interested in astrophysics. Following an advertisement published in a newspaper in which NASA was looking for candidates For her space program, the 27-year-old decided to send her resume. On January 16, 1978 she joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Sally Ride with her great love, tennis player and writer Tam O’Shaughnessy EM

At the moment when he achieved the historic feat She was married to fellow astronaut Steven Hawley. (72), whom she divorced amicably in 1987 after five years of marriage. Theirs was a private ceremony that was made public a month later. At that time no one knew that she had started a relationship with a woman, the writer and former professional tennis player Tam O’Shaughnessy (72), with whom he shared his life until the end of his days.

Just the astronaut’s inner circle He knew about that relationship. If it was already difficult for a woman to belong to an area as sexist as space, it would have been impossible to achieve this if she had publicly confessed her sexual orientation. To her well-known secrecy was added modesty and also added fear of reprisals and possible hate attacks. He also feared that his feat had been relegated to the background because of his sexuality. So the secret was the common thread of her methodical life. Today you can proudly say that Sally Ride was the first lesbian astronaut in history.

Along with three other colleagues, Sally and Tam co-founded the company Sally Ride Sciencein order to disseminate their scientific knowledge and technicians to encourage girls to study science, technology and mathematics. She was also part of the International Center for Security and Arms Control at Stanford University, served as professor of physics at the University of California and was director of the California Space Institute. She was the author of several academic books.

Actress Kristen Stewart, who will play the role of Sally Ride GTRES

Despite the social advances since leaving NASA in 1987, Sally and Tam were very clear that if they wanted keep your company better to keep quiet since “American companies are very nervous about homosexual women”, so investments would have been in danger.

A few days before her death, Tam asked Sally if she wanted to go public with their relationship. Very sick with cancer, The astronaut told him to do what he wanted most. She didn’t give time. Sally passed away on July 23, 2012. Her revelation about her sexuality occurred in the obituary issued by the educational company where she referred to Tam O’Shaughnessy as “his partner of 27 years.”

Karen, the astronaut’s sister, even confessed that “if you read interviews from years and years ago, you will see that there was always great frustration because she did not comment much about ‘what it feels like to be the first american woman in space I just didn’t think that way. He wanted to do his job. His personal feelings were just that, personal. They weren’t right or wrong, they were just Sally. “Everyone who knows her well understands that about her.”

 
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