Space Shuttle Challenger
Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial Sites | Image Source: Associated Press

Christa McAuliffe Obituary

9/2/1948 - 1/28/1986| Visit Guest Book
Christa McAuliffe (Photo: NASA)
Christa McAuliffe (Photo: NASA)
Christa McAuliffe was born Sharon Christa Corrigan in Boston in 1948. Growing up in the 1950s and '60s, she was inspired by the achievements in space exploration, and knew she wanted to travel to outer space someday.

After graduating from college in 1970, she became a social studies teacher and married her high school sweetheart Steven McAuliffe. The couple had two children, Scott and Caroline, who were 9 and 6 years old at the time of their mother's death.

In July 1985, McAuliffe was selected from a group of 10 finalists to be the first Teacher in Space, a program created by the Reagan administration to promote interest in science, inspire students and honor teachers. McAuliffe took a year-long leave of absence to train for the mission.

On January 28, 1986, people across America, including many schoolchildren, excitedly watched the Space Shuttle Challenger lift off with its crew of six astronauts and one teacher. Celebration quickly turned to horror as the Challenger exploded seconds after launch, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members.

Twenty-five years later, we remember the brave and inspiring woman who almost became the first teacher in space. We invite you to share memories and condolences in her Guest Book.
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