Part of The Challenger crew who died during her mission, and the first teacher to fly in space. Chosen from over 11,000 teachers who applied for the chance to join the astronaut ranks. She was born on September 2, 1948. When she was young she was entraced by the Apollo moon landing program, and wrote years later on her astronaut application form that "I watched the Space Age being born and I would like to participate."

NASA picked McAuliffe in the summer of 1984 and in the fall she took a year-long leave of absence from teaching, during which time NASA trained her for an early 1986 Shuttle mission. She was very popular with the media, and the teacher in space program received a lot of attention because of this. It is partly because of the excitement over McAuliffe's presence on the Challenger that the accident had such a significant impact on the nation.

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