As of this writing, Endeavour is scheduled to lift off on Wednesday.

Here’s a link to the space shuttle page. This is a noteworthy mission (as if there’s such a thing as a non-noteworthy shuttle mission) in that the first educator astronaut is a member of the crew.

Christa McAuliffe, of course, was the educator aboard the Space Shuttle. Barbara Morgan is flying this week aboard the Endeavour. Here’s an excerpt from her bio on the NASA page:

Morgan was selected as the backup candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Program on July 19, 1985. From September 1985 to January 1986, Morgan trained with Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger crew at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Following the Challenger accident, Morgan assumed the duties of Teacher in Space Designee. From March 1986 to July 1986, she worked with NASA, speaking to educational organizations throughout the country. In the fall of 1986, Morgan returned to Idaho to resume her teaching career. She taught second and third grades at McCall-Donnelly Elementary and continued to work with NASA’s Education Division, Office of Human Resources and Education. Her duties as Teacher in Space Designee included public speaking, educational consulting, curriculum design, and serving on the National Science Foundation’s Federal Task Force for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.

Selected by NASA as a mission specialist in January 1998, Morgan reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1998. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, she was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Space Station Operations Branch. She then served in the Astronaut Office CAPCOM Branch, working in Mission Control as prime communicator with on-orbit crews. More recently, she served in the Robotics Branch of the Astronaut Office. Morgan is assigned to the crew of STS-118, an assembly mission to the International Space Station. The mission will launch in 2007.

Godspeed, Mrs. Morgan.

STS-118

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