I met Sally (briefly) at JPL, after her 1984 Challenger mission. My impression was of someone who was confident, supremely able, and didn't worry a lot how she dressed. I got this impression since she showed up at the lab wearing shorts, and seemed instantly at home, like she'd been working there for years. Her later partnership with Tam was a surprise, since she gave no hint of that during her astronaut years. But yes, getting a ride on the big machine in the early 80's was a very political game, as much about appearances as it was about ability. And ability she had in spades. During the October 84 Challenger mission, all kinds of shit went wrong. An RF antenna cable on the radar overloaded and started arcing, causing the SNR to radically drop. The monitoring equipment at Johnson acted up, showing loss of TDRS downlink data when it was actually fine. I also seem to recall that Sally had to take apart parts of the shuttle with a wrench to get access to the data recorder, because of some malfunction or other. So overall, the mission was a disaster. But Sally took it all in stride. Best wishes, Sally. Some of us remember you.
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Now having said all that... System Verilog has a LOT going for it, and when the tools catch up to the Language Reference Manual, then it could be an extremely powerful design language. This presentation from DATE 2004 shows why. http://www.systemverilog.org/techpapers/date04_systemverilog.pdf