Astronaut Barbara Morgan completes a Journey Started by Christa MaAuliffe over twenty years ago
“Left picture: Christa McAuliffe and the rest of the crew of Challenger mission STS 51-L, during training. Right picture: Christa McAuliffe “teacher in space” and backup Barbara Morgan practice moving in weightlessness.”
On January 26, 1986, 73 seconds after liftoff, Challenger exploded killing all crew members of mission STS-51l aboard the craft. Among the Challenger crew was school teacher, Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher selected from over 11,500 candidates as an Astronaut under the “Teacher in Space Project.” Barbara Morgan was selected and trained as McAuliffe’s back-up. After the crash, the program was halted.
“Image above: The Endeavor Crew crew members of STS-118 pose for their official portrait. Pictured from the left are mission specialists Richard A. (Rick) Mastracchio, Barbara R. Morgan, Pilot Charles O. Hobaugh, Commander Scott J. Kelly and mission specialists Tracy E. Caldwell, Canadian Space Agency’s Dafydd R. (Dave) Williams, and Alvin Drew Jr.”
Yesterday, August 7, 2007, twenty-one years later, the “Teacher in Space Program” came full circle when Astronaut STS-118 Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan and the rest of the crew aboard the Endeavor STS-118 lifted off successfully at Kennedy Space Center. Barbara Morgan was McAuliffe’s back-up for the Challenger Mission. She sat in McAuliffe’s chair during the lift-off.
Endeavor’s mission is scheduled for eleven days. Endeavor is carrying 5,800 pounds of cargo and supplies and an a new space station segment to be delivered to the International Space Station. The crew will add the new segment and test a new power transfer system. If the power transfer system works the way NASA hopes it will, the mission could be extended three more days. NASA hopes the new system will allow for loner stays at the station for future shuttle missions.
Barbara Morgan will be conducting educational programs as part of the “Teacher in Space Program.” This event will bring about the realization of a twenty year dream first begun by Morgan and McAuliffe.
Left picture: “Christa McAuliffe – informal portrait during astronaut training. Image at right: Astronaut Christa McAuliffe was “Posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.”
“Christa McAuliffe and Barbara Morgan”
“Christa McAuliffe” Official NASA Portrait
Barbara Morgan” Official NASA Portrait
“The Endaevor Crew” Banner
“Image above: Space Shuttle Endeavour during liftoff August 7, 2007.”
“Image above: The STS-118 insignia represents the continuation of the assembly of the International Space Station and the pursuit of knowledge through space exploration.”