At WVFC, we’re always excited about women astronauts, who by definition come to the role with sterling achievements under their belts. Barbara Morgan began her teaching career in 1974 on the Flathead Indian Reservation at Arlee Elementary School in Arlee, Montana, moving on to more than 20 years at McCall-Donnelly Elementary School in McCall, Idaho.  Initially selected in 1985 as a backup “teacher-astronaut” for the Challenger mission, Morgan felt honored to be named NASA’s first Educator Astronaut 13 years later, and  reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1998.

After years of training and service as a technical expert,  Morgan completed her first space flight in 2007 as a mission specialist on the crew of STS-118, an assembly mission to the International Space Station, and logged more than 305 hours in space before she was done. Below, on NASA TV, she describes how spaceflight broadened and deepened her role as an educator, how her students prepared for her first mission, and how dark it really is out there. We bow to her first-class reinvention.


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