Part of the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley is named in honor of the pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.
A resolution passed by state lawmakers on Tuesday designates part of the highway in Encino, here Hometown, as Dr. Sally Ride Memorial Highway
PHOTOS: 35 years ago, astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space
Ride died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 61.
“As the first American woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride made history when she smashed the tallest glass ceiling, ”said Representative Jesse Gabriel, D-Encino, who drafted the resolution. “As a proud resident of the Valley, her legacy continues to inspire young people to reach for the stars, and I am very proud to be able to rename part of Highway 101 in Encino in their memory.”
Ride’s astronaut career began in 1978 when he was one of 35 people selected from 8,000 applicants to join NASA Astronaut Group 8. In 1983, the Stanford University graduate became the first American woman in space as a crew member on the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to travel to space at the age of 32.
“Sally would be so honored to have part of Highway 101 named after her near her hometown,” said Tam O’Shaughnessy, Ride’s 27-year-old partner. “And it’s very fitting – Sally has spent countless hours driving to school and tennis tournaments.”
Ride is also the first space traveler to be recognized as part of the LGBTQ + community.
In 2013, O’Shaughnessy received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on behalf of Ride from then President Barack Obama at the White House.
Ride retired from NASA in 1987 and began teaching, devoting himself to encouraging children, especially young girls, to love science. In 2001,
Ride and O’Shaughnessy co-founded Sally Ride Science, an education company dedicated to helping children explore science.