Teaching Profession Collection

Teachers in Space

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

Jacob Komissar, an 8th grader at the McAuliffe Regional Charter Public Middle School in Framingham, Mass., works on a class project marking the 25th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, which took the life of teacher Christa McAuliffe.
Jacob Komissar, an 8th grader at the McAuliffe Regional Charter Public Middle School in Framingham, Mass., works on a class project marking the 25th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, which took the life of teacher Christa McAuliffe.
Jason Grow for Education Week
School & District Management 25 Years Later, Challenger's McAuliffe Remembered
Teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who died along with the six other crew members in the 1986 Challenger explosion, continues to inspire educators and students.
Liana Loewus, January 25, 2011
6 min read
Education Endeavour Touches Down
The space shuttle's crew of seven, including teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan, returned to Earth on Tuesday, wrapping up a dramatic mission.
The Associated Press, August 21, 2007
1 min read
Federal Teacher-Astronaut Ready for Liftoff
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.
The Associated Press, August 8, 2007
3 min read
Federal Teacher-Turned-Astronaut to Deliver Educational Payload
Barbara R. Morgan and the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour will conduct a variety of educational activities on an 11 day mission.
Andrew Trotter, July 11, 2007
5 min read
Science NASA’s New Educator Astronauts Face Long Wait for Their Shuttle Missions
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.
Andrew Trotter, April 11, 2006
4 min read
Education Teacher-Astronaut Outlines Her Role for Shuttle Operations
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.
David J. Hoff, April 9, 2003
3 min read
Education NASA Launches Educator-Astronaut Program
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.
Andrew Trotter, January 29, 2003
4 min read
Education Educator-Astronaut Trained for a New Mission
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.
Andrew Trotter, April 24, 2002
4 min read
Education 'An Opportunity To Learn'
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.
Andrew Trotter, June 3, 1998
2 min read
Education The Space Ambassadors
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.
Andrew Trotter, June 3, 1998
10 min read
Education 'A Life-Changing Event'
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.
Andrew Trotter, June 3, 1998
2 min read
Education Teachers in Space: A Chronology
NASA began internal discussions on including private citizens in the space shuttle program in 1982.
January 28, 1998
1 min read
Education Idaho Teacher to Train for Space Flight
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.
Andrew Trotter, January 28, 1998
4 min read
Education Fate of Teacher-in-Space Program Remains A Question Mark
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.
Peter West, February 3, 1993
8 min read