Lynn Sherr — the author of the recently-released biography, "Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space" — paid tribute to the late astronaut Thursday (Oct. 2) on the satirical news program "The Colbert Report." The nearly 7-minute interview covered everything from the Space Race to Ride's unique place in history as NASA's first female astronaut.
Colbert started the interview by asking Sherr why NASA didn't prioritize getting women into space when the Russian space agency had sent two women to space before Sally Ride flew to orbit for the first time in the 1980s. "NASA didn't think that women were a priority," Sherr replied. "First there was the race to get to the moon … but before Sally Ride flew, the only three females NASA had flown were two spiders and a monkey." [Read an interview with Sherr about the new book]
Ride flew to space during a NASA shuttle mission for the first time in 1983. She died at 61 in July 2012 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. You can watch the full "Colbert Report" clip below: