Educator Flew On STS-118 Mission
NASA announced Monday that veteran
space shuttle program astronaut Barbara R. Morgan will leave NASA
in August to become an educator at Idaho's Boise State
The agency's first educator astronaut, Morgan logged more than
305 hours in space aboard shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 assembly
mission to the International Space Station in August 2007. She
operated the shuttle and station robotic arms to install hardware,
inspect the orbiter and support spacewalks. Morgan also served as
loadmaster for the transfer of supplies between the shuttle and
station, taught lessons from space to schoolchildren on Earth and
served on the flight deck during re-entry and landing.
"Barbara has served NASA and the Astronaut Office with
distinction over the course of her career," Astronaut Office chief
Steve Lindsey said. "From the Teacher in Space Program to her
current position as a fully qualified astronaut, she has set a
superb example and been a consistent role model for both teachers
and students. She will be missed."
Morgan previously served as the backup to payload specialist
Christa McAuliffe in the Teacher in Space Program. McAuliffe and
six fellow astronauts lost their lives in the Challenger accident
on January 28, 1986. Morgan, who was an elementary schoolteacher in
McCall, ID before being selected as McAuliffe's backup, returned to
teaching after the accident. She was selected to train as a mission
specialist in 1998 and named to the STS-118 crew in 2002.
"It is really tough to leave NASA," Morgan said. "It is a great
organization with great people doing great things. We're going back
to the moon and on to Mars. I'm especially proud that we have three
other teachers who are astronauts, and there will be others in the
future. I'm very excited to go to work for Boise State University.
I like everything about it, and it's going to be wonderful helping
exploration by working full time for education."
Three other educator mission specialists, Richard Arnold, Joseph
Acaba and Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, are training for future
spaceflights. Arnold and Acaba are assigned to fly on the STS-119
space shuttle mission to the station in 2009.
Morgan will serve as Distinguished Educator in Residence at
Boise State, providing vision and leadership to the state of Idaho
on science, technology, engineering and math education.