Education

Teachers in Space: A Chronology

January 28, 1998 1 min read
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1982: NASA begins internal discussions on including private citizens in the space shuttle program.

Aug. 27, 1984: President Reagan announces NASA’s “Teacher in Space Project.’' More than 11,000 teachers apply.

June 1985: NASA chooses 114 semifinalists to be the first teacher in space, including two teachers from each state. A review panel, chosen by NASA and the Council of Chief State School Officers, selects 10 finalists.

July 18, 1985: NASA picks Christa McAuliffe as the flight candidate and Barbara R. Morgan as her alternate.

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Sept. 9, 1985: Ms. McAuliffe and Ms. Morgan begin 100 hours of flight training at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Jan. 28, 1986: The shuttle Challenger carrying Ms. McAuliffe explodes during its launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., killing her and the six other crew members on board. The teacher project is suspended indefinitely.

March-July 1986: Ms. Morgan serves as teacher-in-space designee, speaking to educational groups around the country.

1988-1997: Shuttle flights resume, but the teacher project remains shelved. Ms. Morgan remains active in space-related projects.

January 1998: NASA announces that Sen. John Glenn is slated for a shuttle flight in October and that Ms. Morgan will soon start two years of astronaut training for a shuttle flight that could be in 2000.

A version of this article appeared in the January 28, 1998 edition of Education Week as Teachers in Space: A Chronology

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