In 1984, NASA announced a groundbreaking new initiative that aimed to send an American educator to space. It was known as the “Teacher In Space Project” and garnered over eleven thousand applications from instructors throughout the country.
But, just one emerged as the winner– Christa McAuliffe of Massachusetts. Tragically, though, her dream of spaceflight ended in catastrophe.
Christa McAuliffe’s Love Of Space
The teacher was born in suburban Massachusetts in 1948, and by 1970, everything was coming together for Christa.
She launched her teaching career at twenty-two years old. And that same year, she got married to her husband, Steve. The pair also went on to welcome two children into the world together, Caroline and Scott.
And throughout Christa’s entire life, she had always been fascinated by space travel. She grew up in the Space Age and watched discovery after discovery about our cosmos unfold in real-time.
So, once President Ronald Reagan revealed the Teacher In Space Project in 1984, Christa was over the moon.
The project was launched as an incentive that NASA hoped would raise public interest in the Space Shuttle Program. In turn, the administration hoped the government would provide them with more funding.
NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; pictured above is Christa