Sally Ride — American Astronaut born on May 26, 1951, died on July 23, 2012

Sally Kristen Ride was an American physicist and astronaut. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. She remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. She worked for two years at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear optics and Thomson scattering. She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, the only person to participate on both. Ride died of pancreatic cancer on July 23, 2012... (wikipedia)

Studying whether there's life on Mars or studying how the universe began, there's something magical about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. That's something that is almost part of being human, and I'm certain that will continue.
All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.
On a standard space shuttle crew, two of the astronauts have a test pilot background - the commander and the pilot.
The stars don't look bigger, but they do look brighter.
Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in.