Woman Teacher & Astronaut to Fly in 2004

Barbara Morgan, the alternate to teacher Christina McAullife, who was killed in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion, is now flight-ready and will fly a space mission in 2004, says NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe. Morgan, like McAullife, was initially recruited to participate in a one-time teacher-in-space program. However, NASA, in conjunction with the Department of Education, is now looking less at sending educators into space in a one-time-only deal and more at developing fully trained astronauts who can fly space missions as well as conduct educational activities from space. NASA also hopes to encourage more children to consider careers in math, science, and engineering with its new program. Morgan has been training to be an astronaut full-time since 1998 and is currently NASA’s only educator-astronaut.


Washington Post, 4/13/02