In The Last of Us episode 6, Ellie talks about why she wants to grow up to be like Sally Ride once the Fireflies draw her blood, save the world, and everything goes back to normal.
On their way to the west, Joel and Ellie take a break at night. Ellie can’t help but look up and stare at the sky. She comes down, shares a drink with Joel, and asks where he would go once the world gets saved.
Joel looks forward to a peaceful life on a ranch with sheep around, as they are quiet and do what they are told, unlike Ellie. Joel then asks her the same question.
Ellie, on her side, has big plans. She dreams of going to the moon. She deduces this to be her dream, probably because she grew up in QZ, where there was an ocean behind them and a wall in front. The only place she was able to look was up at the sky.
Ellie claims that she has read a lot in the library about Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Jim Lovell, but her favorite remains Sally Ride. She considers Ride’s name to be the best astronaut name ever.
About Sally Ride
Sally Ride was the first American woman and the third woman to fly in space. Born on May 26, 1951, in Los Angeles, Sally joined NASA in 1978 through a NASA opening posted on the first page of the newspaper, The Stanford Daily.
NASA, at that time, was looking to recruit women for the Space Shuttle program. She was a graduate of Stanford University and had a Ph.D. in Physics, which made her a favorable candidate to do experiments in space.
After completing her training and working on some projects, on June 8, 1983, she flew into space on the Space Shuttle Challenger on the STS-7 mission. She worked as a mission specialist; she didn’t really fly the shuttle, but she ran experiments.
Ride’s second space flight was the STS-41-G mission in 1984. She was scheduled for a third Challenger mission too and was going to join the crew of STS 61-M, but the mission got canceled due to the Challenger explosion on January 28, 1986.
Ride left NASA in 1987 and then worked at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control and then at the University of California, San Diego, as a professor of physics.
In 2001, she founded Sally Ride Science to motivate young girls to pursue careers in science, math, and technology. Ride was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died on July 23, 2012.