Christa McAuliffe (September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986) was an American teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, and one of seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
She received her bachelor's degree in education and history from Framingham State College in 1970, and a Master of Arts from Bowie State University in 1978. She took a teaching post as a social studies teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire in 1982.
In 1985, McAuliffe was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher in Space Project and she was scheduled to become the first teacher in space. As a member of mission STS-51-L, she was planning to conduct experiments and teach two lessons from Space Shuttle Challenger. On January 28, 1986, her spacecraft disintegrated 73 seconds after launch. After her death, schools and scholarships were named in her honor, and in 2004 she was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.