Teacher eagerly eyeing classroom in space

Jan. 20, 2007 at 5:45 PM
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ARLINGTON, Texas, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Texas schoolteacher Barbara Morgan is eagerly anticipating taking her teaching skills into space as a crew member of the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour.

Looking past the tragedy of the last teacher-astronaut, Christa McAuliffe of the doomed shuttle Challenger, Morgan remains optimistic about the planned June 28 launch of the Endeavour, the Houston Chronicle said.

"In anything you do, you weigh the risks," the 55-year-old said. "There are positives and negatives."

Joining Morgan, who was McAuliffe's backup for the 1986 flight, on her upcoming mission are six other astronauts all assigned to a space station assembly mission.

Morgan returned to Idaho to teach after the Challenger explosion. She was more than pleased when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration contacted her again in 1998.

"NASA made a commitment to the educational community that it would continue to fly teachers, and I made a commitment to stick with the program," she told the Chronicle. "I hope I will do a good job representing my colleagues. This is a good opportunity to remind everyone what teachers and teaching is all about. Without a good education, we won't be able to do any of this."

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