"First Educator Mission Specialist Astronaut Named" National Aeronautics and Space Administration, News Release (1998)
"First Educator Mission Specialist Astronaut Named"
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, News Release (1998)
SITE SUMMARY: This news release of January 16, 1998 reveals that NASA had determined it appropriate to include educator mission specialists in the astronaut corps. It states the reasons, notes the requirements, and names science teacher Barbara Morgan as the first candidate.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
- State two reasons why NASA decided to establish an educator mission specialist designation for another kind of astronaut. (Hint: See the News Release, paragraph two.)
- See the News Release, paragraph two, then see the Web sites for the NASA Educator Mission Specialist Homepage, the NASA Astronaut Selection Homepage, and the NASA Astronaut Biography of Barbara Morgan. Identify the education requirements, in general, for educator mission specialist astronauts. How does Morgan fulfill these requirements? How is the educator mission specialist astronaut category similar to yet different from the mission specialist astronaut category? (The urls for the Web sites referred to are cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.)
- How is the educator mission specialist astronaut different from the teacher in space astronaut category that was set up in the 1980s, with which Morgan was connected? What was Morgan's part then? How is the educator mission specialist astronaut different from the payload mission astronaut? (For information, see the NASA Astronaut Selection Homepage, especially its online vacancy brochure [found as stated in Question/Activity no. 2 above] plus the Education Week article "Educator Astronaut Trained for New Mission," and the CNN item "Barbara Morgan Looks Forward to Becoming Educator Astronaut." See also the Christa McAuliffe Biography at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium Web site. [Web site urls are cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.])
- Why is the educator mission specialist astronaut category different from another special kind of astronaut that has included politicians (e.g., Senator Jake Garn and Congressman Bill Nelson turned astronaut for one mission each, different from career astronaut John Glenn turned senator), millionaires, and a planned journalist in space category? (Hint: For information, see the NASA Astronaut Biographies Web site whose url is in this book's Appendix B, the First Space Tourist: Dennis Tito, and the "NASA Chose James Schefter For the Journalist in Space Program" Web sites whose urls are cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.)
- What will the educator mission specialist astronauts be required to do, something which is not a requirement for other kinds of astronauts? How specific does NASA get when determining what educator mission specialist astronauts will do? How are NASA and teachers compatible, according to Morgan, and what, according to her, is "the best thing about all this"? (Hint: For help, see Web sites cited in the Related Internet Sites section below, e.g., the NASA Educator Mission Specialist Homepage, Educator Astronaut Program, NASA Astronaut Selection Homepage, Education Week Interview with Barbara Morgan, NEA Today—Interview with Barbara Morgan, and the Education Week article "Educator Astronaut Trained for New Mission.")
- See the NEA Today—Interview with Barbara Morgan Web site. (Its url is cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.) Note the interview's question and comment number three, and tell why, according to Morgan, sending an educator into space is so important, then explain why you think she made this comment. Note the interview's question and comment number two, especially the last part of the first paragraph, and tell why being a teacher can help someone be an astronaut. (For more information, see the CNN item "Barbara Morgan Looks Forward to Becoming Educator Astronaut." Its url is cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.)
- Remembering one of Morgan's comments which you found for Question/Activity no. 6 above, apply it to a space mission situation. (Hint: Check the main Web sites and the Related Internet Sites in this book's chapters on the NASA Life Sciences Data Archive, the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal transcripts, and news from past manned space flights, or past space shuttle missions, at the NASA Human Space Flight News Web site [whose url is cited in this book's Appendix B].)
- Imagine you would like to work toward becoming an educator mission specialist astronaut. What would you study in particular? (Hint: For general help, see your answer to Question/Activity no. 2 above.) What might be a special project, based on your particular area of study, that you would like to do while on a mission in space? (For specific help, see the Web sites in the Hint for Question/Activity no. 7 above, the Web site with "Scientific Prerequisites for the Human Exploration of Space" as cited in this book's Appendix I: Other Helpful and Interesting Science Web Sites, the featured Web site and the Related Internet Sites in this book's chapter on "Toward a World Strategy and Utilization of Our Natural Satellite," plus future or planned Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and other future [e.g., Mars, the Moon] missions, or missions involving Science, at the NASA Human Space Flight News Web site found as cited in the Hint in Question/Activity no. 7 above.)
RELATED INTERNET SITE(S)
"Teacher Turned Astronaut Assisting NASA"
On February 2, 2003, this news item revealed, via the Los Angeles Daily News Web site, that educator astronaut Barbara Morgan, still part of the educator in space program, is focusing on what she can do to help as people struggle to cope with the Columbia shuttle tragedy, while she keeps in mind what she said in an April 2002 interview: "You do everything you can, in your training and in … the testing …," then "you go forward."
NASA Astronaut Biographies—Barbara Morgan—Educator Mission Specialist
Updated June 2000, and provided by NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Flight Center.
"Barbara Morgan to Be Second Teacher in Space"
This December 12, 2002 news announcement has quotations from Morgan, space shuttle commander Scott Kelly, NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, and Senator Barbara Mukulski. It reveals in general what Morgan would have done on STS 118 in November 2003 on the Columbia space shuttle (and may still do in some way on another spacecraft), what it would mean for today's children and the future of space exploration, and how it would have carried on the legacy of Christa McAuliffe (the first teacher astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle tragedy).
"NASA's First Educator Astronaut Assigned First Flight"
http://www.nasajobs.nasa.gov/EducatorMissionSpecialist/ea_1st_flight.htm or http://www.nasajobs.nasa.gov (click link)
This feature article of December 12, 2002 has information on Morgan's background, NASA training, her planned destination in space and when she was scheduled to go before the Columbia shuttle tragedy. Links go to a biography and more information.
"Educator Astronaut Trained for New Mission" in Education Week, April 24, 2002
This article notes that the U.S. Department of Education is working with NASA to develop science standards with applications to the space program. It also reveals how the educator astronaut is different from the teacher astronaut of the 1980s. There are also related links (e.g., Space Shuttle Flight Launches School Activities, November 11, 1998).
Education World Interview with Barbara Morgan—May 2000
NEA Today—Interview with Barbara Morgan—January 2000
"Teacher Turned Astronaut Lives Dream"
This Canada-based news site provides an account of Morgan as the first educator astronaut, as of December 13, 1999, with information on her credentials, preparation, eagerly waiting for the mission, and silver and gold astronaut wings.
"Barbara Morgan Looks Forward to Becoming Educator Astronaut"
On January 20, 1998 Morgan recalled Christa McAuliffe, her own work for the NASA education program, then NASA's panel reviewing her case and recommending her as an astronaut mission specialist, and why she believes in the educator in space program. See also the quicktime video of Morgan preparing for space, a video link to CNN science correspondent Ann Kellan and the Associated Press (both contributors to a report featuring Morgan), and links to related stories.
NASA Educator Mission Specialist Homepage
Educator Astronaut Program
NASA Astronaut Selection Homepage
See requirements for, and duties of, any mission specialist astronaut, plus more information on this type of astronaut, and the payload specialist type of astronaut, via links to FAQs, application instructions and forms, selection and training, and an online vacancy announcement brochure with details on academic and other qualifications.
International Technology Education Association (ITEA)
Morgan is a member of this organization for technology teachers. Note its NASA-sponsored Technology for All Americans Project at www.iteawww.org/TAA/index.htm.
"Teachers Still Eager for Trip Aboard Shuttle [After the Columbia Shuttle Tragedy]"
This February 21, 2003 news item revealed that support still exists for the astronaut educator program, with comments by teachers who still want to be astronauts, and by Leland Melvin (the astronaut manager of the continuing educator astronaut program).
Christa McAuliffe Biography at Christa McAuliffe Planetarium Web Site
This biography, of the teacher for whom Morgan was the backup astronaut in the 1980s temporary teacher in space program, features what led to McAuliffe becoming the program's candidate, what she planned to do while in space, and how her legacy continues although she never got to complete her mission. Also included are McAuliffe quotations, and how U.S. President Ronald Reagan was involved with the program.
First Space Tourist: Dennis Tito
"NASA Chose James Schefter for the Journalist in Space Program"
A Space Illustrated editor tells of achievements of a veteran journalist who wrote about the space program's early days, and was chosen as a finalist for the Journalist in Space Program which was canceled after the 1986 Challenger space shuttle tragedy.