I was saddened to learn of astronaut Sally Ride's death ("Ride had the cool to break barriers," July 25). Outer space is infinite, but human life is not. Sixty-one seems too young for this pioneer to leave us.
I feel fortunate, blessed and privileged to have lived at a time when men and women traveled into space and explored the moon. However, what I deeply regret is the manner all the astronauts appeared to "hide their light under a bushel." At a time when we desperately need genuine heroes, role models, adventurers and explorers who take chances in real time, their reluctance to put themselves in the public eye was regrettable.
Over the years, I've been determined to meet as many of these wonderful people as possible, and I'm sorry to say it has been a daunting, nearly impossible task. It may not have been entirely the fault of our space pioneers, but of their overzealous gatekeepers instead. Still, some of my experiences were heartbreaking.
I was passionate about the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, and I marveled at the successes of the Space Shuttle, despite the horrific tragedies it experienced. Sally Ride's death demonstrates our astronauts are indeed mortal. How I wish they all could have been more visible and accessible over the years.