Imagine being a legend and hero even before your death- Sally Ride was the epitome of this. She died Monday morning and will forever go down in history as the first American woman in space.

Ride passed away the morning of July 23 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She is survived by her partner Tam O'Shaughnessy, her mother, sister, niece and nephew.

Ride made history on June 18, 1983 as she flew into space as part of the NASA STS-7 crew abroad the Challenger. She was the first American female to ever do so.

Over a year later on October 5, 1984 she took off on her second mission with the STS- 41G, again via the Challenger. This mission was the first to include two women. She later retired in 1987.

After her retirement with NASA, Ride joined the faculty staff at the University of California, San Diego and the California Space Institute. In 2001 she founded her own educational science company named Sally Ride Science, which is dedicated to girls and boys who have an interest in science, math and technology.

Sally Ride- 1951-2012