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Cradle of Aviation to Unveil Sally Ride Sculpture

Cradle of Aviation to Unveil Sally Ride Sculpture

The monument will stand in front of the museum and feature an engraving that honors the space icon 


Reach for stars! The Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, will celebrate the late American astronaut, Sally Ride, Ph.D., with a new sculpture made in her honor. 

The community is invited to the sculpture's unveiling on Friday, June 17, at 11am, in front of the museum. Titled “The First American Woman in Space,” the monument depicts Ride in her space shuttle in-flight suit and will add a dramatic and history-filled accent to the museum's grounds. It will welcome visitors in front of the museum and feature an engraving that honors the space icon. 

The new sculpture coincides with the recent launch of the Sally Ride quarter by the U.S. Mint. This is the second release from the U.S. Mint's four-year series of American women quarters.  

About Sally Ride 

Ride was an astronaut and physicist. In 1977, she saw an ad in her school newspaper encouraging women to apply to NASA's space program. She applied and was one of six women picked. She joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman in space. She flew two missions on the space shuttle Challenger before leaving NASA to become a physics professor and a champion for improving science education. 

We are honored to have this sculpture – depicting the first American woman in space, in the museum’s permanent collection,” Andy Parton, president of the museum, said. 

About the Sally Ride Sculpture 

The 7-foot-tall gold and bronze statue was created by Colorado-based sculptors and brothers George and Mark Lundeen, working with fellow artist, Joey Bainer. A gift to the Cradle of Aviation Museum, the project’s title sponsors are the Matson Family Foundation, Peter Diamandis on behalf of the XPRIZE Foundation and Maria Shriver. 

The sculpture was made possible by documentary filmmaker, Steven C. Barber. 



“It is my great hope that once Sally Ride is unveiled, it will open the floodgates to other monuments for high-achieving American women in STEM,” said Barber.

The museum is holding an essay contest for middle and high school students centered on the life and achievements of Ride, as well as her contribution to space exploration. The winner of the contest will unveil the monument on June 17. For more information, email [email protected]

A brick fundraiser has also launched to  help support the museum's preservation and education programs. The bricks, which can be engraved with donor names, will be installed in a circle design around the new sculpture. More information is on the website. 

What You Need to Know About Attending the Sally Ride Sculpture Unveiling at the Cradle of Aviation Museum

Where is the museum located?

The Cradle of Aviation Museum is located on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Garden City, Nassau County. 

When is the unveiling of the Sally Ride sculpture at the Cradle of Aviation Museum?

The unveiling is on Friday, June 17, at 11am.

Where will the sculpture be unveiled?

The Sally Ride sculpture will be unveiled in front of the museum. 

How much does it cost to attend the unveiling ceremony?

The event is free to attend. The museum will be open with regular admission. For the museum and planetarium show: $21; $19 seniors and children ages 2-12. For museum galleries only: $16; $14 seniors and children ages 2-12.

What are the regular hours for the Cradle of Aviation Museum?

The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

For more information, visit cradleofaviation.org or follow the museum on Facebook or Instagram

Main image: Maximusnd/Getty Images

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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