Christa McAuliffe
Overview
 
Christa McAuliffe was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 teacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

 from Concord, New Hampshire
Concord, New Hampshire
The city of Concord is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695....

, and was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at 11:38 am EST...

.

She received her bachelor's degree in education and history from Framingham State College
Framingham State College
Framingham State University is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, from Boston. It offers undergraduate programs in a range of subjects from Art to Biology to Communication Arts, and graduate programs including MBA, MEd, and MSc...

 in 1970, and also a Master of Arts from Bowie State University
Bowie State University
Bowie State University , is a public university located on 355½ acres in unincorporated Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, north of the suburban city of Bowie. Bowie State is part of the University System of Maryland...

 in 1978. She took a teaching post as a social studies teacher at Concord High School
Concord High School (New Hampshire)
Concord High School is a high school in Concord, New Hampshire in the United States.- History :Concord's first public high school was established in 1846. The original building was the building on the corner of State and School Streets. A new school house was built in 1862, which stood until April...

 in New Hampshire in 1982.

In 1985, McAuliffe was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Teacher in Space Project
Teacher in Space Project
The Teacher in Space Project was a NASA program announced by Ronald Reagan in 1984 designed to inspire students, honor teachers, and spur interest in mathematics, science, and space exploration....

 and was scheduled to become the first teacher in space.
Encyclopedia
Christa McAuliffe was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 teacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

 from Concord, New Hampshire
Concord, New Hampshire
The city of Concord is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695....

, and was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at 11:38 am EST...

.

She received her bachelor's degree in education and history from Framingham State College
Framingham State College
Framingham State University is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, from Boston. It offers undergraduate programs in a range of subjects from Art to Biology to Communication Arts, and graduate programs including MBA, MEd, and MSc...

 in 1970, and also a Master of Arts from Bowie State University
Bowie State University
Bowie State University , is a public university located on 355½ acres in unincorporated Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, north of the suburban city of Bowie. Bowie State is part of the University System of Maryland...

 in 1978. She took a teaching post as a social studies teacher at Concord High School
Concord High School (New Hampshire)
Concord High School is a high school in Concord, New Hampshire in the United States.- History :Concord's first public high school was established in 1846. The original building was the building on the corner of State and School Streets. A new school house was built in 1862, which stood until April...

 in New Hampshire in 1982.

In 1985, McAuliffe was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Teacher in Space Project
Teacher in Space Project
The Teacher in Space Project was a NASA program announced by Ronald Reagan in 1984 designed to inspire students, honor teachers, and spur interest in mathematics, science, and space exploration....

 and was scheduled to become the first teacher in space. As a member of mission STS-51-L
STS-51-L
STS-51-L was the twenty-fifth flight of the American Space Shuttle program, which marked the first time an ordinary civilian, schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, had flown aboard the Space Shuttle. The mission used Space Shuttle Challenger, which lifted off from the Launch Complex 39-B on 28 January...

, she was planning to conduct experiments and teach two lessons from Space Shuttle Challenger
Space Shuttle Challenger
Space Shuttle Challenger was NASA's second Space Shuttle orbiter to be put into service, Columbia having been the first. The shuttle was built by Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division in Downey, California...

. On January 28, 1986, the spacecraft disintegrated 73 seconds after launch. After her death, schools and scholarships were named in her honor, and also in 2004 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Congressional Space Medal of Honor
The Congressional Space Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress in 1969 to recognize "any astronaut who in the performance of his duties has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind." The highest award...

.

Early life

Born Sharon Christa Corrigan in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, the eldest of the five children of Edward Christopher Corrigan (1922–1990) — an accountant — and Grace Mary Corrigan (née George), a substitute teacher, she was of Irish, Lebanese, German, English, and Native American descent. McAuliffe's mother is of part Maronite Lebanese
Lebanese people
The Lebanese people are a nation and ethnic group of Levantine people originating in what is today the country of Lebanon, including those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state....

 origin through her father (McAuliffe's grandfather), and is a niece of Lebanese-American historian Philip Khuri Hitti
Philip Khuri Hitti
Philip Khuri Hitti ,, born in Shimlan, Ottoman Syria, now modern day Lebanon), was a scholar of Islam and introduced the field of Arab culture studies to the United States. He was of Maronite Christian religion....

. McAuliffe was known by the name "Christa" from an early age, although in later years she signed her name "S. Christa Corrigan", and eventually "S. Christa McAuliffe."

The year that McAuliffe was born, her father was completing his sophomore year at Boston College
Boston College
Boston College is a private Jesuit research university located in the village of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. The main campus is bisected by the border between the cities of Boston and Newton. It has 9,200 full-time undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students. Its name reflects its early...

. Not long thereafter, he took a job as an assistant comptroller
Comptroller
A comptroller is a management level position responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting of an organization.In British government, the Comptroller General or Comptroller and Auditor General is in most countries the external auditor of the budget execution of the...

 in a Boston department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

, and the family moved to Framingham, Massachusetts
Framingham, Massachusetts
Framingham is a New England town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 68,318 as of the United States 2010 Census. -History:...

, where Christa attended and graduated from Marian High School
Marian High School (Framingham, Massachusetts)
Marian High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Framingham, Massachusetts. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and has been run independent of the Diocese since 2004...

 in 1966. As a youth, she was inspired by Project Mercury
Project Mercury
In January 1960 NASA awarded Western Electric Company a contract for the Mercury tracking network. The value of the contract was over $33 million. Also in January, McDonnell delivered the first production-type Mercury spacecraft, less than a year after award of the formal contract. On February 12,...

 and the Apollo moon landing program
Project Apollo
The Apollo program was the spaceflight effort carried out by the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration , that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Apollo began in earnest after President John F...

. The day after John Glenn
John Glenn
John Herschel Glenn, Jr. is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was a Marine Corps fighter pilot before joining NASA's Mercury program as a member of NASA's original...

 orbited the Earth in Friendship 7, she told a friend at Marian High: "Do you realize that someday people will be going to the Moon? Maybe even taking a bus, and I want to do that!" She wrote years later on her NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 application form: "I watched the Space Age
Space Age
The Space Age is a time period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events. The Space Age is generally considered to have begun with Sputnik...

 being born, and I would like to participate."

Career as an educator

McAuliffe attended Framingham State College
Framingham State College
Framingham State University is located in Framingham, Massachusetts, from Boston. It offers undergraduate programs in a range of subjects from Art to Biology to Communication Arts, and graduate programs including MBA, MEd, and MSc...

 in her hometown, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in education and history. A few weeks later, she married her longtime boyfriend Steven J. McAuliffe
Steven J. McAuliffe
Steven James McAuliffe is an American attorney and judge, currently Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. He was the husband of Christa McAuliffe, one of the victims of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.Steven McAuliffe graduated from Virginia...

, whom she had met at Marian High, and they moved closer to Washington, DC, so that Steven could attend the Georgetown University Law Center
Georgetown University Law Center
Georgetown University Law Center is the law school of Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C.. Established in 1870, the Law Center offers J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D. degrees in law...

. They had two children: Scott and Caroline, who were nine and six respectively when she died.

McAuliffe obtained her first teaching position in 1970, as an American history teacher at Benjamin Foulois Junior High School in Morningside, Maryland
Morningside, Maryland
Morningside is an incorporated town in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 1,295 at the 2000 census. The town developed with the establishment of nearby Andrews Air Force Base and the federal Census Bureau. The government of the town is led by a mayor and town council...

. From 1971 to 1978, she taught history and civics at Thomas Johnson Middle School in Lanham, Maryland
Lanham, Maryland
Lanham is an unincorporated community in Prince George's County in the State of Maryland in the United States of America. Because it is not formally incorporated, it has no official boundaries, but the United States Census Bureau has defined a census-designated place consisting of Lanham and the...

. In addition to teaching, she completed a Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 in education supervision and administration from Bowie State University
Bowie State University
Bowie State University , is a public university located on 355½ acres in unincorporated Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, north of the suburban city of Bowie. Bowie State is part of the University System of Maryland...

 in Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

. In 1978, she moved to Concord, New Hampshire
Concord, New Hampshire
The city of Concord is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695....

, when Steven accepted a job as an assistant to the New Hampshire Attorney General
New Hampshire Attorney General
The New Hampshire Attorney General is a constitutional officer of the U.S. state of New Hampshire who serves as head of the Department of Justice...

. McAuliffe took a teaching post at Concord High School
Concord High School (New Hampshire)
Concord High School is a high school in Concord, New Hampshire in the United States.- History :Concord's first public high school was established in 1846. The original building was the building on the corner of State and School Streets. A new school house was built in 1862, which stood until April...

 in 1982.

She was a social studies teacher, and taught several courses including American history, law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, and economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, in addition to a self-designed course: "The American Woman." An important part of her teaching techniques were taking field trips and bringing in speakers. According to The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, she "emphasized the impact of ordinary people on history, saying they were as important to the historical record as kings, politicians or generals."

Teacher in Space Project

In 1984, President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 announced the Teacher in Space Project
Teacher in Space Project
The Teacher in Space Project was a NASA program announced by Ronald Reagan in 1984 designed to inspire students, honor teachers, and spur interest in mathematics, science, and space exploration....

, and McAuliffe learned about NASA's efforts to find the 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 out of more than 11,000 applicants, writing:
NASA hoped that sending a teacher into space would increase public interest in the space shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

 program, and also demonstrate the reliability of space flight at a time when the agency was under continuous pressure to find financial support. President Reagan said it would also remind Americans of the important role that teachers and education serve in their country.

The Council of Chief State School Officers
Council of Chief State School Officers
The Council of Chief State School Officers is a non-partisan non-profit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity and five U.S. territories. CCSSO provides...

, a non-profit organization of public officials in education, was chosen by NASA to coordinate the selection process. Out of the initial applicant pool, 114 semi-finalists were nominated by state, territorial, and agency review panels. McAuliffe was one of two teachers nominated by the state of New Hampshire. The semi-finalists gathered in Washington, DC, from June 22–27, 1985, for a conference on space education and to meet with the National Review Panel that would select the 10 finalists.

On July 1, 1985, McAuliffe was announced as one of the 10 finalists, and on July 7 she traveled to Johnson Space Center for a week of thorough medical examinations and briefings about space flight. The finalists were interviewed by an evaluation committee composed of senior NASA officials, and the committee made recommendations to NASA Administrator James M. Beggs
James M. Beggs
James Montgomery Beggs served as the 6th Administrator of NASA. Nominated by President Reagan on June 1, 1981, Beggs took his oath of office and entered the post on July 10, 1981, serving until December 4, 1985....

 for the primary and backup candidates for the Teacher in Space Project. On July 19, 1985, Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 announced that McAuliffe had been selected for the position. Another teacher, Barbara Morgan
Barbara Morgan
Barbara Radding Morgan is an American teacher and a former NASA astronaut. She participated in the Teacher in Space program as the backup to Christa McAuliffe for the ill-fated STS-51L mission of Space Shuttle Challenger. She then trained as a Mission Specialist, and flew on STS-118 in August 2007...

, served as her backup. According to Mark Travis of the Concord Monitor
Concord Monitor
The Concord Monitor is the daily newspaper for Concord, the state capital of New Hampshire. It also covers substantial portions of surrounding Merrimack and Belknap counties in New Hampshire's Lakes Region...

, it was McAuliffe's manner that set her apart from the other candidates. NASA official Alan Ladwig said "she had an infectious enthusiasm", and NASA psychiatrist Terrence McGuire told New Woman magazine that "she was the most broad-based, best-balanced person of the 10."

In the autumn of that year, McAuliffe and Morgan each took a year-long leave of absence from teaching in order to train for a space shuttle mission in early 1986. (NASA paid both their salaries.) While not a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps
NASA Astronaut Corps
The NASA Astronaut Corps is a unit of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration that selects, trains, and provides astronauts as crew members for U.S. and international space missions.-History:...

, McAuliffe was to be part of the STS-51-L
STS-51-L
STS-51-L was the twenty-fifth flight of the American Space Shuttle program, which marked the first time an ordinary civilian, schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, had flown aboard the Space Shuttle. The mission used Space Shuttle Challenger, which lifted off from the Launch Complex 39-B on 28 January...

 crew, and would conduct experiments and teach lessons from space. Her planned duties included basic science experiments in the fields of chromatography
Chromatography
Chromatography is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures....

, hydroponics
Hydroponics
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, mineral wool, or coconut husk.Researchers discovered in the 18th...

, magnetism
Magnetism
Magnetism is a property of materials that respond at an atomic or subatomic level to an applied magnetic field. Ferromagnetism is the strongest and most familiar type of magnetism. It is responsible for the behavior of permanent magnets, which produce their own persistent magnetic fields, as well...

, and Newton's laws. She was also planning to conduct two 15-minute classes from space, including a tour of the spacecraft, called "The Ultimate Field Trip", and a lesson about the benefits of space travel, called "Where We've Been, Where We're Going, Why." The lessons were to be broadcast to millions of schoolchildren via closed-circuit TV.

After being chosen to be the first teacher in space, McAuliffe was a guest on several television programs, including Good Morning America
Good Morning America
Good Morning America is an American morning news and talk show that is broadcast on the ABC television network; it debuted on November 3, 1975. The weekday program airs for two hours; a third hour aired between 2007 and 2008 exclusively on ABC News Now...

; the CBS Morning News
CBS Morning News
For CBS's main morning news program, formerly known as CBS Morning News, see The Early Show.CBS Morning News is the half-hour daily television broadcast from CBS News that airs following Up to the Minute and features late-breaking news stories, weather forecasts, and sports scores...

; the Today Show; and the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She had an immediate rapport with the media, and the Teacher in Space Project received tremendously popular attention as a result.

Disaster and aftermath

On January 28, 1986, McAuliffe boarded Space Shuttle Challenger
Space Shuttle Challenger
Space Shuttle Challenger was NASA's second Space Shuttle orbiter to be put into service, Columbia having been the first. The shuttle was built by Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division in Downey, California...

 with the other six crew members of STS-51-L. Just 73 seconds into its flight at an altitude of 48,000 feet, Challenger broke apart, leading to the deaths of all seven crew members. According to NASA, it was in part because of the excitement over McAuliffe's presence on Challenger that the accident had such a significant effect on the nation. Many schoolchildren were viewing the launch live, and media coverage of the accident was extensive.

The Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident
Rogers Commission Report
The Rogers Commission Report was created by a Presidential Commission charged with investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster during its 10th mission, STS-51-L...

 — also known as the Rogers Commission — was formed to investigate the disaster. It determined that the accident was due to a failure of rubber O-ring
O-ring
An O-ring, also known as a packing, or a toric joint, is a mechanical gasket in the shape of a torus; it is a loop of elastomer with a disc-shaped cross-section, designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface.The O-ring...

s made by Morton Thiokol that provided a pressure seal in the aft field joint of the shuttle's right Solid Rocket Booster
Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster
The Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters were the pair of large solid rockets used by the United States' NASA Space Shuttle during the first two minutes of powered flight. Together they provided about 83% of liftoff thrust for the Space Shuttle. They were located on either side of the rusty or...

. The failure of the O-rings was attributed to a design flaw, as their performance could be too easily compromised by factors that included the low temperature on the day of launch. The Commission found that O-ring resiliency is directly related to temperature and due to the low temperature at launch — 36 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees lower than the next coldest previous launch — it was probable the O-rings had not provided a proper seal.

Barbara Morgan, McAuliffe's backup, became a professional astronaut in January 1998 and flew on space shuttle mission STS-118
STS-118
- Crew notes :Astronaut Clayton Anderson originally was slated to be launched to the ISS on this mission, but was moved to STS-117. His replacement was Alvin Drew....

, to the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

, on August 8, 2007, aboard Endeavour
Space Shuttle Endeavour
Space Shuttle Endeavour is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA, the space agency of the United States. Endeavour was the fifth and final spaceworthy NASA space shuttle to be built, constructed as a replacement for Challenger...

, the orbiter that replaced Challenger.

Legacy

McAuliffe's remains were buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire. She has since been honored at many events, including the Daytona 500
Daytona 500
The Daytona 500 is a -long NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is one of four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule....

 auto race in 1986. The Christa McAuliffe Planetarium/McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, the Christa Corrigan Hennessy Center for Education and Teaching Excellence at Framingham State College, and the Christa McAuliffe Residential Community building at Bowie State University are named in her memory, as are the asteroid 3352 McAuliffe
3352 McAuliffe
3352 McAuliffe is an Amor and Mars-crosser asteroid which was discovered by Norman G. Thomas on February 6, 1981. It is named in memory of Christa McAuliffe, the civilian astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster...

, the crater McAuliffe
McAuliffe (crater)
McAuliffe is a small lunar impact crater that is located on the Moon's far side. It lies within the inner ring of the double-ringed walled plain Apollo, about one crater diameter to the northeast of the crater Resnik. To the southeast of McAuliffe lies the crater pair of Jarvis and McNair.McAuliffe...

 on the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

, and a crater on the planet Venus
Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...

, which was named McAuliffe by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Approximately 40 schools around the world have been named after her, including the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center in Pleasant Grove, Utah
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Pleasant Grove, also known as "Utah's City of Trees", is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Provo–Orem, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 33,798 at the 2008 census estimates.-History:...

.

Scholarships and other events have also been established in her memory. The Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference has been held in Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire
-Climate:-Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 86,494 people, 35,044 households, and 21,876 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,719.9 people per square mile . There were 37,168 housing units at an average density of 1,202.8 per square mile...

, every year since 1986, and is devoted to the use of technology in all aspects of education. The Nebraska McAuliffe Prize
The Christa McAuliffe Prize
The Nebraska Christa McAuliffe Prize For Courage and Excellence in Education is an award given annually to recognized a teacher in Nebraska for showing courage in education. Founded in 1987 this award was founded in memorial to Christa McAuliffe, the teacher/astronaut who lost her life in the...

 honors a Nebraska teacher each year for courage and excellence in education. Grants in her name, honoring innovative teachers, are provided by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities is an organization of state-supported colleges and universities that offer degree programs leading to bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees...

 and the National Council for the Social Studies
National council for the social studies
The National Council for the Social Studies is a US-based association devoted to supporting social studies education. It affiliated with various regional or state level social studies associations, including: the Middle States Council for the Social Studies, the Washington State Council for the...

.

In 1990, McAuliffe was portrayed by Karen Allen
Karen Allen
Karen Jane Allen is an American actress best known for her role as Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull...

 in the TV movie Challenger
Challenger (TV film)
Challenger is an ABC TV-movie based on the events surrounding the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Its production was somewhat controversial as the families of the astronauts generally objected to it. The film concentrates on the safety inspections and arguments surrounding the O-rings that...

. The spaceship on the 1996–1997 children's science-fiction series Space Cases
Space Cases
Space Cases is a science fiction television series that aired on Nickelodeon for two seasons. Created by Peter David and Bill Mumy, it premiered on March 2, 1996, and was cancelled a year later. It aired for a time on Nickelodeon's Saturday night block of shows known as SNICK, and on Nickelodeon...

, about a group of students lost in space, was called "Christa". In 2006, a documentary film about McAuliffe and Morgan called Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars aired on CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 in the CNN Presents
CNN Presents
CNN Presents is an American documentary program on CNN weekends. The program used to be replaced with CNN Special Investigations Unit, which features the same documentary format, but differs from it in a number of ways and is shorter in length....

format. The film, produced by Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges, commemorated the 20th anniversary of McAuliffe's death. The 75-minute feature version was narrated by Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon is an American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1969, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. She had also been nominated for the award for four films before that and has received other recognition for her...

, and included an original song by Carly Simon
Carly Simon
Carly Elisabeth Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. She rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records, and has since been the recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for her work...

.

McAuliffe's parents worked with Framingham State College to establish the McAuliffe Center for Education. Her husband Steven J. McAuliffe
Steven J. McAuliffe
Steven James McAuliffe is an American attorney and judge, currently Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. He was the husband of Christa McAuliffe, one of the victims of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.Steven McAuliffe graduated from Virginia...

 remarried and in 1992 became a federal judge
Federal judge
Federal judges are judges appointed by a federal level of government as opposed to the state / provincial / local level.-Brazil:In Brazil, federal judges of first instance are chosen exclusively by public contest...

, serving with the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire
United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire
The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the state of New Hampshire. The Warren B. Rudman U.S...

 in Concord. McAuliffe's son Scott completed graduate studies in marine biology
Marine biology
Marine biology is the scientific study of organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackish bodies of water. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather...

, and her daughter Caroline went on to pursue the same career as her mother: teaching. On July 23, 2004, McAuliffe and all the other 13 astronauts lost in both the Challenger and Columbia
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in the death of all seven crew members...

disasters were posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Congressional Space Medal of Honor
The Congressional Space Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress in 1969 to recognize "any astronaut who in the performance of his duties has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind." The highest award...

 by President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Jackson, NJ is named after her as well.

External links

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