This Monday, January 28, will mark 33 years to the day since the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. Of particular note was that the mission – called “STS-51-L,” the 25th space shuttle mission – was to be the first time a school teacher traveled into space. Christa McAuliffe was aboard with six other astronauts.
A memorial to the “Challenger 7,” the crew lost in the disaster, hangs atop the main staircase at Discovery Elementary School, including a portrait of the crew, an STS-51-L mission patch, and a “Teacher in Space” program patch.
Here is a video of Ms. McAuliffe, describing the reasons she wanted to become the world’s first teacher in space. Her values and beliefs about teaching children continue to inspire educators to this day, and as a school named for a space pioneer, and as a school that values inquiry, exploration, women in science, and making connections, we honor the legacy of the Space Shuttle Challenger on this solemn anniversary.