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Former Astronaut Sally Ride Dead At Age 61

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(Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, has died. She was 61.

NASA confirmed her death Monday afternoon and President Barack Obama called her a national hero.

Her office in San Diego said she died of pancreatic cancer.

Ride rode into space on the shuttle Challenger in 1983 when she was 32.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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