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July 19, 1985

NASA announces first Teacher-in-Space

Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire was chosen as the first Teacher-in-Space, with Barbara Morgan as her backup.

"In my view those two were the clear front runners," says Bill Harwood, a longtime spacer reporter for CBS News. "In fact I predicted Barbara Morgan would win and Christa McCauliffe would come in second. I remember Barbara Morgan as being very enthusiastic . . . enthusiasm and optimism I guess were the two things. A lot of energy. She clearly wanted to do it and believed in the goals of that program. Just like Christa McAuliffe did. They were both good choices."

Christa McAuliffe and Barbara Morgan Christa McAuliffe and Barbara Morgan

From September 1985 to January 1986, Morgan trained with McAuliffe and the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Although she was the backup to McAuliffe, Morgan was involved in all activities, in case Christa couldn't make it to the launch.

Read "Idahoan heads for teachernaut training" (Idaho Statesman; .pdf; 98 KB)

In September, 1985 Idaho Reports host Marc Johnson interviewed Morgan about her experiences thus far.

Watch "An Idaho Reports Interview with Barbara Morgan" by Marc Johnson (1985)
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