Today a monumental sculpture was publicly unveiled and dedicated to the late astronaut Dr. Sally Ride at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York. The seven-foot-tall bronze statue was created by Colorado-based sculptors, George and Mark Lundeen who worked with artist, Joey Bainer.
As a NASA astronaut, Dr. Ride made history on June 18, 1983, when she became the first American woman to travel into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. This sculpture is unique among public monuments, as less than 8% of statues in the United States depict women.
Dr. Ride is depicted in her space shuttle flight suit and flight jacket and is shown stepping forward with her right arm extended skyward holding up a model of the space shuttle orbiter.
Documentary filmmaker, Steven Barber, who organized the statue’s creation and its placement at the museum stated that it was his hope that the unveiling of the Sally Ride statue will open the door to other monuments of high-achieving American women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
The Cradle of Aviation Museum held an essay contest for middle and high school students focusing on Dr. Ride’s life and achievements, as well as her contributions to space exploration. Winners were announced during the dedication ceremony.