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NASA'S EDUCATOR ASTRONAUT ASSIGNED FIRST FLIGHT



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

Dwayne C. Brown
Headquarters, Washington                        December 12, 2002
(Phone: 202/358-1726)

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)



NASA'S EDUCATOR ASTRONAUT ASSIGNED FIRST FLIGHT

     NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced that 
Barbara Morgan, the agency¹s first Educator Astronaut, has 
been assigned as a crewmember on a November 2003 Space Shuttle 
mission to the International Space Station.

Today's announcement was highlighted with a ceremony at the 
Maryland Science Center in Baltimore and fulfills the 
Administrator¹s commitment earlier this year to send an 
educator into space in a renewed mission to inspire a new 
generation of explorers. Morgan's flight represents the first 
of what is expected to be many flights as part of a new 
Educator Astronaut program, which will be unveiled in early 
2003.

"NASA has a responsibility to cultivate a new generation of 
scientists and engineers," said Administrator O'Keefe. 
"Education has always been a part of NASA's mission, but we have 
renewed our commitment to get students excited about science and 
mathematics. The Educator Astronaut program will use our unique 
position in space to help advance our nation's education goals," 
he explained.

Morgan's assigned mission, STS-118, has as its primary 
objectives to install additional truss segments that will 
increase power and communications to the International Space 
Station, and to deliver additional supplies for the Station's 
crew. Morgan will participate in a number of educational 
events from space and be actively involved in the flight as a 
fully trained NASA astronaut. 

Commander Scott J. Kelly (Cmdr., USN) will lead the six-member 
STS-118 crew. Charles O. Hobaugh (Lt. Col., USMC) serves as 
the Space Shuttle's pilot. Veteran NASA astronaut Dr. Scott E. 
Parazynski will be making his fifth space flight. The Canadian 
Space Agency's Dr. David R. Williams will return to space for 
a second time, and Lisa M. Nowak (Cmdr., USN) will -- like 
Morgan -- make her first flight into space.

A native of McCall, Idaho, Morgan was selected in 1985 as the 
backup candidate for the Teacher in Space program. Following 
the Challenger accident, the program was suspended and Morgan 
worked with NASA¹s Education Office, meeting with teachers and 
students across the country to share her space training 
experiences and their relevance to the classroom and America¹s 
future. 

In the fall of 1986 Morgan returned to teaching at McCall-
Donnelly Elementary School in Idaho, but continued to travel 
the country in support of NASA¹s education efforts. In January 
1998, she was selected by NASA to complete her astronaut 
training. For more than a year, Morgan has served as a 
spacecraft communicator, or CAPCOM, in Mission Control at 
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, providing the voice 
link between the flight control team and crews orbiting in 
space.

"Barbara's commitment and dedication to education is an 
inspiration to teachers across the country," concluded 
Administrator O'Keefe. "She embodies the spirit and desire of 
this agency to get students excited about space again, and I'm 
pleased that she'll be able to fulfill that mission from orbit 
aboard the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station," 
he said.

Additional information about Barbara Morgan and the 
International Space Station is available on the Internet at:

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/morgan.htm

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov 

Information on NASA's extensive education programs is 
available on the web at:

http://education.nasa.gov/

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