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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Up....Up.... And Away!

Barbara Morgan: Teacher In Space

It was a beautiful evening at Kennedy Space Center for the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. It roared into a flawless liftoff at 6:36 p.m. EDT. STS-118 is the 22nd shuttle flight to the International Space Station. It will be an 11-14 day mission and will continue construction by delivering a third starboard truss segment to add to the Space Station.
The Astronaut Flight Team consists of the following members. U.S. Navy Commander Scott J. Kelly will command the seven-person crew of STS-118. U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col Charles O. Hobaugh will be Endeavour's pilot. Veteran astronauts Richard A. Mastracchio and Dr. Dafydd (Dave) Williams of the Canadian Space Agency will be returning to space for their second missions. Barbara R. Morgan, Tracy E. Caldwell, Ph. D., and Benjamin Alvin Drew round out the crew as mission specialists. Barbara Morgan had been chosen as the backup candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Program in July 1985. From September 1985 to January 1986, Barbara Morgan trained with Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger crew at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Following the Challenger accident, Morgan assumed the duties of Teacher in Space Designee. From March 1986 to July 1986, she worked with NASA, speaking to educational organizations throughout the country. In the fall of 1986, Morgan returned to Idaho to resume her teaching career. She taught second and third grades at McCall-Donnelly Elementary and continued to work with NASA’s Education Division, Office of Human Resources and Education. Her duties as Teacher in Space Designee included public speaking, educational consulting, curriculum design, and serving on the National Science Foundation’s Federal Task Force for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Barbara Morgan's Bio here, and you can find additional crew profiles here.
If you did not have an opportunity to view the launch today you can view the full video at this NASA website. You can also view more Space Shuttle Endeavor photos here.

Remembering The Challenger Crew

The Challenger Astronaut Team Bios

The Space Shuttle Pogram has always held a great deal of significance with me since its inception. In the early 80's I was living in Clear Lake City, Texas within walking distance of the Johnson Space Center. During my time there I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved with NASA in an "air sickness" study which was contracted out by NASA to a French Team. It was just a ten week program, but it gave me an opportunity to meet some wonderful people, and to learn so many exciting things about the Space Program, particluarly The Space Shuttle. I always enjoy viewing the launches from Kennedy Space Center on my computer. For those that might not necessarily be aware, there is a website at NASA here where you can not only view the launches, but keep in daily touch with all the events of the goings on of the Space Station as well. For sightings of The Shuttle and also the International Space Station (ISS) in your own backyard visit this website.