07/25/2012 07:50 am ET Updated Jul 25, 2012

Sally Ride Remembered On 'The Young Turks' With Cara Santa Maria And Cenk Uygur (VIDEO)

Sally Ride was the first American woman to go to space, blasting off on the Space Shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983, mere months before I was born. She has been an inspiration my entire life, both as a woman and a scientist. I am terribly saddened by her passing on July 23, 2012, but I hope her family and friends are comforted to know that her 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer ended peacefully.

Sally is survived by her mother, sister, niece, nephew, and her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy. Although friends and family knew she was gay, Sally kept her sexual orientation out of the public eye.

This week, I've been co-hosting the second hour of The Young Turks online with Cenk Uygur, and I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to Sally. We also discussed the rights her partner may be refused since they were not allowed to be legally married. Please watch the video above to learn more.

Thank you, Sally. You will be missed.

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This Week In Science History, June 18-24