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In Brief

Sally Ride's Biographer Talks Women & Spaceflight on 'Colbert Report'

'Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space'
The cover of Lynn's Sherr's book about Sally Ride called "Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space." (Image credit: Simon & Schuster )

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:

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Miriam Kramer
Miriam Kramer joined Space.com as a staff writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also serves as Space.com's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. You can follow Miriam on Twitter and Google+.