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MacNut
Jul 12, 2007, 12:59 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19713770/
After more than two decades of waiting, NASA's first official educator astronaut is ready to fly.

Barbara Morgan, who first joined NASA's spaceflyer ranks 22 years ago during the agency's Teacher in Space program, is due to launch Aug. 7 with six STS-118 crewmates aboard the shuttle Endeavour on a construction mission to the international space station.

NASA first selected Morgan in 1985, when the agency announced she would serve as the backup spaceflyer to fellow schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe as part of the agency's Teacher in Space program. McAuliffe and her six shuttle crewmates were tragically killed during the 1986 Challenger accident, after which Morgan performed various activities and tasks in McAuliffe's stead as her Teacher in Space Designee before returning to teach elementary school in McCall, Idaho.

"Christa was, is, and always will be our 'Teacher in Space,' our first teacher to fly," Morgan said in a NASA interview, adding that showing schoolchildren how adults recover from tragedies such as the Challenger and Columbia accidents has kept her committed to human spaceflight.

Morgan returned to NASA in 1998, this time as a full-fledged educator astronaut and was assigned to Endeavour's STS-118 mission in 2002.

elfin buddy
Jul 12, 2007, 07:43 PM
I find it interesting how there were shuttle disasters surrounding both of her earlier attempts to get to space. Should be awesome, though! It's about time they put a teacher in space.

I'm actually going to be at the KSC for that launch, so I'm really looking forward to it! Canadian astronaut Dave Williams is also going up and replacing a gyroscope on the ISS. NASA totally messed up my schedule when they changed the launch date from August 9th to the 7th, haha.