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{image credit: Sally Ride Science}

The US Mint will be offering a new series of quarters honoring American women. The first ones to be issued will honor astronaut Sally Ride and poet/civil rights activist Maya Angelou.

Sally K. Ride (1951-2012) was the first American female in space. Dr. Ride was the third woman in space, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). She is currently the youngest astronaut of any nationality, having been only 32 when she went into space. Although statistically she was probably not the only LGBT astronaut, she is the only astronaut thus far to be openly recognized as part of the LGBT community.

In 2022, the US Mint will be issuing a series of circulating coins depicting important U. S. women. These will be legal tender, not just collecto’s items, although like Bicenntennial quarters and state quarters it is likely more will be saved as keepsakes than used at the laundromat. The U. S. Mint announced the first two women to be honored on coins issued under the American Women Quarters Program would be award-winning writer Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014) and Dr. Sally Ride. The quarters, authorized under Public Law 116-330, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 will commemorate women from a variety of fields: science, literature, civil rights, government, and art. George Washington will be on theobverse (heads) side, the women to be honored will be on the reverse side.

Christa McAuliffe, 1948-1986 {image via NASA.gov}

Slly Ride was a physicist and astronaut. She spent more than 340 hours in space. She was a crew member of the shuttle Challenger on Mission STS-7 in 1983 and Mission STS-41-G in 1984. After retiring from NASA, she became a physics professor at University of California, San Diego. Dr. “Ride led the Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students (MoonKAM) project, which allowed students nationwide to target lunar images to be taken by Ebb and Flow, the two GRAIL spacecraft.”

The U. S, Mint is also be issuing a silver dollar honoring Christa McAuliffe, the civilian teacher who died aboard Challenger January 28, 1986. The silver McAuliffe dollar is being issued this year. It is 99.9% silver and weighs 26.73 grams. It sells for $79 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Only 350,000 will be minted.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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