Women’s History Month: Christa McAuliffe, educator and astronaut

Christa McAuliffe ((1948-1986) was an educator and an astronaut.

On January 28, 1986 I was standing at the bar in the kitchen making myself something to eat.  Fayette County WV schools had a snow day and I could not have been happier because I would be able to watch the space shuttle launch live.  I passed the TV and caught a snippet of an announcement regarding the potential of ice crystals forming on the shuttle because of the dropping temperature.  I can remember the feeling of “wrong” when I heard that and immediately felt like they should delay.  They did not.  Seconds into the launch I watched, with millions around the world, as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven crew members. Only two years before I had watched Challenger launch while on vacation in Florida.  My family and friends had all gathered on the bridge, miles away from the launch-pad.  Along with hundreds of fellow spectators, we watched as the little light on the horizon made its way up, up and even further up until it was out of our line of sight.  It was exhilarating to watch.  And, although we could only see the barest of glimpses, we could also hear it.  It felt like an honor to have witnessed a crew’s entry into space.

In 1970, Christa received her bachelor’s from Framingham State College.  She would receive her master’s in education from Bowie State University in 1978.  She decided to dedicate her life to the next generation by teaching.  According to her wiki: She obtained her first teaching position in 1970 as an American history teacher at Benjamin Foulois Jr High in Morningside, MD.  From 1971 to 1978, she taught history and civics at Thomas Johnson Middle School in Lanham, MD.  In 1978 she moved to Concord, NH with her husband and accepted a job as an assistant to the NH Attorney General.  She taught 7th and 8th grade American history and English in Concord, NH and 9th grade English in Bow, NH before taking a permanent teaching position at Concord High School in 1983.

In 1985 NASA put out the call to teachers around the globe and offered them the opportunity to go into space.  Christa, along with some 11,000 other applicants, applied.  To her elation, she was accepted and would become the first educator in space aboard the mission STS-51-L.  Her portion of the mission would be to conduct experiments and to teach while in space. I had followed the story closely, marveling at technology and how far we had come.  But that dream would be cut viciously short when only 73 seconds after the launch of the space shuttle it broke apart, killing all of the crew.  She would posthumously receive the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. It was determined that the accident was due to the failure of rubber O-rings made by Morton-Thiokol.  The O-rings created the seal on the right solid rocket booster.  Their failure was noted as a flaw in their design.  Their failure was directly related to the cold temperatures.

If you would like to learn more about Christa, below are a few links:

http://www.citizensinspace.org/teachers-in-space-the-history/

https://www.biography.com/people/christa-mcauliffe-9390406

 

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow Thoughts and Ponderances on WordPress.com

Archives

Blogs I Follow

Chelle’s Twitter

LLOYD'S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY LLC

A VIEW FROM THE LENS

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

Adventures of Toby

The exciting adventures of Toby the Wonderdog

monica byrne

novelist . playwright . traveler . futurist . feminist

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

Commonplace Book Blog

Creative Nonfiction, Writing, and the Pleasures of Reading

Bits and Pieces: Adventures in History.

History will get you, eventually.

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Scribblings from the Bluegrass

The other me: writing, cooking, sometimes snarky...

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

HistorianRuby: An Historian's Miscellany

Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair

My Genealogy Life

Family stories are my buried treasure. -- Patricia Greber, treesrch1800 at gmail.com

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

Taken the Series

The Adventures Of Chelle

Pieces of History

A blog of the U.S. National Archives

Streaming thru America

Finding and reporting what's special across America

Cabell County World War I Memorial Boulevard

Honoring the men from Cabell County, WV, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Needull in a haystack

Selected. Sorted. Shared.

charles french words reading and writing

An exploration of writing and reading

Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes

Everything's Mary

Finding happiness and trying new things on a budget.

Franklenstein

Frank book reviews

The Elliptical Saloon

Weblog for WhiteHouseMuseum.org

Stories by Jake Fuentes on Medium

The Adventures Of Chelle

Stories by Yonatan Zunger on Medium

The Adventures Of Chelle

Books – Nerdist

The Adventures Of Chelle

Appalachian Magazine

The Adventures Of Chelle

Beyond the Edge

National Geographic Adventure Blog

The Plate

| Serving Daily Discussions on Food | National Geographic

Phenomena

A science salon

A Change of Tune

The Adventures Of Chelle

Barnes & Noble Reads

The Adventures Of Chelle

Omnivoracious

The Adventures Of Chelle

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings

Books blog | The Guardian

The Adventures Of Chelle

Love and Lemons

The Adventures Of Chelle

Outdoor Photographer

The Adventures Of Chelle

Speed 51

The Adventures Of Chelle

Beyond the Campsite

Clean Camp; New Journeys

Tinycamper's Blog

diy mini camper van, Casita & Aliner trailer mods, camping, outdoors, all things nature

Blog

The Adventures Of Chelle

Lazy Girl Running

The Adventures Of Chelle

THAT BACKPACKER

The Adventures Of Chelle

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

The Adventures Of Chelle

%d bloggers like this: