Teachers in Space

Read highlights of Education Week's coverage of the federal Teacher-in-Space program since its inception in 1984.


Teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who died along with the six other crew members in the 1986 Challenger explosion, continues to inspire educators and students.
January 25, 2011 - Education Week

The space shuttle's crew of seven, including teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan, returned to Earth on Tuesday, wrapping up a dramatic mission.
August 21, 2007 - Education Week (Web)

Barbara Morgan will be cheered on by more than half of the educators who competed for the chance to fly in the doomed space shuttle Challenger two decades ago.
August 8, 2007 - Education Week (Web)

Barbara R. Morgan and the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour will conduct a variety of educational activities on an 11 day mission.
July 11, 2007 - Education Week

When the U.S. space agency pinned badges on the 11 newest members of its astronaut corps this winter, it also increased by three its cadre of educator astronauts.
April 11, 2006 - Education Week

Once Barbara R. Morgan enters orbit, she'll be monitoring pictures of Earth, preparing astronauts to walk in space, and eventually assisting the space shuttle's flight team as it lands the craft.
April 9, 2003 - Education Week

For the second time in its history, America's space agency will begin recruiting teachers to fly into space and conduct lessons for schoolchildren nationwide.
January 29, 2003 - Education Week

NASA plans to launch a new type of astronaut, "the educator mission specialist," who has completed the same rigorous training as astronauts with specialties in engineering, physics, or medicine.
April 24, 2002 - Education Week

Even though he wasn't selected to be the nation's first teacher in space, Art Kimura saw his participation as a way to stand up for his state.
June 3, 1998 - Education Week

NASA charged the 112 teachers who were also in the running for Christa McAuliffe's seat on the Challenger with carrying the vision of space discovery back to their home states.
June 3, 1998 - Education Week

For Susan Darnell Ellis, NASA's teacher-in-space program offered her a way out of rural western Kentucky, where she was born and bred, went to school and college, and started her teaching career.
June 3, 1998 - Education Week

NASA began internal discussions on including private citizens in the space shuttle program in 1982.
January 28, 1998 - Education Week

In tapping Idaho schoolteacher Barbara R. Morgan to become a full-fledged astronaut, NASA opened the space-faring profession to educators to a degree never before seen.
January 28, 1998 - Education Week

Seven years after the Challenger disaster, NASA continues to face the difficult political question of whether it will—or even should—honor its commitment to again fly a professional educator aboard the orbiter.
February 3, 1993 - Education Week

While investigations of the Challenger disaster intensified, NASA announced that Idaho teacher Barbara R. Morgan had been invited to follow in Sharon Christa McAuliffe’s footsteps and become the first U.S. civilian in space.
February 19, 1986 - Education Week

Despite protests from many groups, NASA placed all educational activities associated with the ill-fated teacher-in-space project on hold after the Challenger explosion.
February 12, 1986 - Education Week

Americans of all ages responded to the space-shuttle tragedy by joining in efforts to memorialize the seven lost astronauts and to keep alive their pioneering spirit.
February 12, 1986 - Education Week

Sharon Christa McAuliffe, who was to be the first teacher and the first “ordinary person” in space, died with six other crew members of the shuttle Challenger when it exploded 10 miles above the Florida coast.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Education Week reporter Blake Rodman's first-hand account of the Challenger explosion.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called Ms. McAuliffe a "symbol of hope and optimism for teachers and students around the nation."
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Applicants for the "Teacher in Space" program were asked to answer several essay questions. Christa McAuliffe’s responses follow.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Eight finalists took a year off from teaching to work for NASA in promoting links between education and space exploration.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Long before last week's ill-fated launch, the project had succeeded in capturing the imagination of tens of thousands of teachers and their students.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Only hours after last week’s shuttle explosion, President Reagan said in a nationally televised address that the country would continue to send civilians—including teachers—into space.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

It was the classroom lesson no one had anticipated.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Experts on children’s mental health last week urged adults to encourage students to talk about the space-shuttle deaths and to be receptive listeners.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Sharon Christa Corrigan was born in Boston on Sept. 2, 1948, the daughter of Grace and Edward G. Corrigan. She grew up in Framingham, Mass., a Boston suburb.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is preparing a nationwide television broadcast to schools next week as part of an effort to salvage its imperiled teacher-in-space project.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Across the country, teachers, students, school administrators, and others tried—in public and private ways—to come to grips with the magnitude of the shuttle disaster.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Residents in this snow-covered New England town united last week in churches, homes, and bars, trying to understand a public—yet very personal—tragedy.
February 5, 1986 - Education Week

Observers groaned as NASA announced that, once again, the countdown for the space shuttle Challenger’s historic mission would be delayed.
January 29, 1986 - Education Week

Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the Concord, N.H., high-school teacher slated to orbit the earth beginning Jan. 22, will teach two televised lessons from space—both beamed live by satellite to cable and public-television channels.
December 11, 1985 - Education Week

The Council of Chief State School Officers, the group chosen to coordinate the selection of the teacher who will fly on a space-shuttle mission, named the 114 candidates who will be considered for the journey.
May 22, 1985 - Education Week

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