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Barbara Morgan

Barbara Morgan followed a uniquely challenging path to become an astronaut.  When President Reagan announced the Teacher-in-Space program in 1985, Morgan and 11,000 US teachers applied for the opportunity.  NASA selected Morgan as back-up to Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe, and she moved to Houston to train with the Challenger space shuttle crew.  After the 1986 Challenger accident, Morgan returned to her public-school classroom in Idaho and served as Teacher-in-Space Designee, until NASA invited her to join the astronaut candidate class of 1998.  Morgan trained for a space shuttle mission on board the Columbia, and was reassigned after the 2003 Columbia accident.  Morgan flew on board the space shuttle Endeavour in 2007 on a two-week mission to help construct the International Space Station, during which she served as loadmaster and robotic arm operator, and taught lessons to students on Earth.  Morgan retired from NASA in 2008 to become Boise State University’s Distinguished Educator in Residence (now emeritus).