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Son's story celebrates astronaut

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC with previous permission of the Houston


Son's story celebrates astronaut
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

 Position: Mission specialist and commander in the U.S. Navy.
 Personal data: Born in Iowa, but considers Racine, Wis., her hometown.
Married with one child. 
 Interests: Scuba, hiking, camping, biking, parachuting, flying,
 Education: Bachelor's in zoology and doctorate in medicine from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
 Work experience: Undersea medical officer and flight surgeon for Navy. 
 Video: Clark conveys her excitement for the shuttle mission and the
scientific research involved. 

Many first- and second-graders across the country will read about
Columbia astronaut Laurel Clark through the eyes of her 8-year-old son
Iain in this month's Scholastic News. 

The four-page publication, which was printed before the tragic Feb. 1
accident that claimed the life of Clark and six other astronauts, is
being distributed at the urging of Clark's husband, Jon. Titled "My Mom
Is an Astronaut," the reader features Iain and his mother, who is decked
in an orange flight suit, on the cover. 

"Laurel loved children and education was her passion," Jon Clark, a NASA
flight surgeon, wrote to Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which printed
and mailed the publication before Feb. 1. 

Initially, Rebecca Bondor, editor in chief of Scholastic Classroom
Magazines, urged teachers not to distribute or teach with the
publication. That changed after a discussion with Jon Clark. 

"Although this was a terrible loss for my son and me, as well as the rest
of the Columbia families, and the nation and the world, we felt extremely
proud that Laurel was an astronaut whose mission was to help make new
discoveries to help mankind," Jon Clark wrote. 

"So many emotions and issues are tied with this article now: sadness and
hope, exploration and discovery, challenge and risk, to name a few. It is
now up to the educators and parents to pass this spirit on to our legacy
and future, our children." 

The March Scholastic News issue explains space and a space shuttle. A
segment also tells that Laurel was doing an experiment on how fire burns
in space and about women astronauts. There are pictures of Clark onboard
the shuttle as well as a group photo of the Columbia crew. 

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