[WORLDKINGS] On this day - July 19, 2023 – The 38th anniversary of Christa McAuliffe being chosen to be the first schoolteacher in space (1985)


(Worldkings.org) On July 19, 1985, Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire was chosen to be the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the space shuttle.

Sharon Christa McAuliffe (née Corrigan; September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986) was an American teacher and astronaut from Concord, New Hampshire who was killed on the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L, where she was serving as a payload specialist.


McAuliffe received her bachelor's degree in education and history from Framingham State College in 1970 and her master's degree in education, supervision and administration from Bowie State University in 1978. McAuliffe took a teaching position as a social studies teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire in 1983.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan announced the Teacher in Space Project, and McAuliffe learned about NASA's efforts to find their first civilian, an educator, to fly into space. NASA wanted to find an "ordinary person," a gifted teacher who could communicate with students while in orbit. McAuliffe became one of more than 11,000 applicants. On July 19, 1985, Vice President George H. W. Bush announced that McAuliffe had been selected for the position.


She became a member to fly on the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986, as part of the STS-51-L mission. The mission was intended to be a 6-day trip, during which McAuliffe would conduct experiments and teach lessons from space.

However, just 73 seconds after liftoff, the Challenger exploded, killing all seven crew members on board, including McAuliffe. After her death, several schools were named in her honor, and McAuliffe was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.


According to Wikipedia

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