Teacher In Space Research Paper

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The day was August 27, 1984 when President Ronald Reagan stood before America and made the announcement, “I am directing NASA to begin a search in all of our elementary and secondary schools, and to choose as the first citizen passenger in the history of our space program one of America’s finest – a teacher… When that shuttle lifts off, all of America will be reminded of the crucial role teachers and educators play in the life of our nation. I can’t think of a better lesson for our children and our country.” Many believed it was just another publicity stunt for the history books while others thought it would gain the support educators needed. But it was average people that dreamed of space travel made attainable by Neil Armstrong on July…show more content…
The skies over Florida were clear but the temperatures were below freezing, students gathered in auditoriums around the United States watching in anticipation as the first teacher went into space. Looking back almost 30 years later, it was exciting yet oddly funny how so many Americans all over were crowded around small televisions set watching history. At the time, it may have seemed more of an excuse to miss work or class than it was to watch a civilian go up in Space. There was not much to see of course and many did not understand that a problem had even occurred until the upward stream of smoke ended in an explosion. What was first known as the “Teacher in
Space” project quickly became the Space Challenger Disaster. The Challenger, along with 7 of its crew had perished. The following research is a thorough summary of the events leading up to and following the devastation, including the incidents that took place and the key individuals; the importance of the event in the scheme of U.S. and world history and how the event changed daily life in America and around the world leaving a lasting legacy of emotional
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The crewmembers were Mission Specialist Ellison Onizuka; Payload Specialist Gregory Jarvis; Mission Specialist Judith Resnik; Mission Specialist Ronald McNair; Pilot Michael Smith; Commander Dick Scobee and of course Teacher Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire, Connecticut (Romzek, 1987). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wanted to try a new radical approach by trying to rekindle the excitement that once had surrounded the space program. NASA thought that if an ordinary American citizen were involved, they could communicate the excitement of space travel to the American public. President Ronald Reagan made the decision that the first ordinary American to travel into space would be “one of America’s finest, a teacher.” (Romzek, 1987). NASA and President Reagan thought that one of America’s teachers would be the best candidate for the trip because teachers have the ability to communicate to people and get them interested and excited about almost
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