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On the 30th anniversary of Sally Ride becoming the first American woman in space, Rep. Scott Peters on Tuesday introduced legislation calling for her to be granted a Congressional Gold Medal.

Peters said Ride deserves the honor for more than just her career as an astronaut.

"Despite being famous for her time as a NASA astronaut, Dr. Ride was also a lifelong educator, public servant, research scientist, children’s book author, and advocate for women in science," Peters said in a prepared statement. "As our nation works to maintain our global competitiveness through educating the next generation in science and technology, Dr. Ride’s commitment to furthering the place of women in those fields is a laudable legacy."

Peters, D-San Diego, also said Ride should be recognized for bringing her technical expertise and experience to the classroom when she taught at the UC San Diego starting in 1989.

The freshman lawmaker said his bill that would bestow the highest award Congress can give a civilian comes in conjunction with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography naming a research vessel after Ride.

Ride, a native of Los Angeles, passed away on July 23 of last year from pancreatic cancer.

Before becoming an astronaut and flying aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, which began its mission on June 18, 1983, Ride had taught physics at UCSD and served as director of the University of California's California Space Institute.

She also served on the commission that investigated the Challenger accident when the spacecraft broke apart shortly after lift-off in January 1986.

Peters serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology.