Monday, August 6, 2007

NASA Finally Sending Teacher To Space

21 years after the loss of the space vehicle Challenger, NASA is set to send 55-year-old Barbara Morgan, back-up to Teacher-In-Space pioneer Christa McAuliffe, into space aboard Endeavor on Wednesday.

Used to be NASA had a way of getting back up after disasters.

Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a launch-pad fire in January of 1967 on Apollo 1. Almost two years later the Apollo 1 backup crew commanded by Wally Shirra got our trek towards the moon back underway.

Challenger fell from the sky in January 1986, taking with her the first Teacher-In-Space, Christa McCauliffe, and pretty emotinoally scaring every school-aged child of that epoch for life.

Two years later Discovery returned to orbit.

In 2003, Columbia fell from the sky, and even Enterprise had to sacrifice part of her wings to find out why. Again, two years later Discovery got Americans back in space again.

But one part of that Challenger mission was left undone - the Teacher-In-Space mission.

Challenger reminded us that space travel is still dangerous. Columbia reminded us again. And, perhaps for too long, the stream of legislators and various other civilians that had been taking trips on the shuttle stopped.

Now, with a little luck, Christa McAuliffe's mission will be completed.

"Challenger ... go at throttle up ..."

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