Christa McAuliffe, a Teacher, Writes About Her Excitement Going Into Space on the Ill-Fated Challenger

August 16, 1985

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Christa McAuliffe, a Teacher, Writes About Her Excitement Going Into Space on the Ill-Fated Challenger
Autograph Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 1508

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      Background

      Slated to be the first private citizen in space flight, New Hampshire schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe was selected - from 11,000 applicants - in July, 1985, to begin training in September for her January 1986 flight aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. Writing here in her role as the inaugural member of the Teacher in Space Project, McAuliffe says she is delighted that so many people are excited about her new venture and is looking forward to her training in Houston. “I… hope that you are able to tune in to my lessons,” she concludes, “which will be broadcast live during the shuttle flight.”

      Those lessons, of course, never took place: with much of the nation watching - in large part due to the presence of the ebullient McAuliffe - the Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. Speaking from the Oval Office later that night, President Reagan spoke to the grieving nation. “We will never forget them,” he said, “nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'”


      Autograph Letter Signed (“S. Christa McAuliffe”), 1 page, quarto, on the letterhead of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington but sent from Concord, New Hampshire, August 16, no year [1985]. To Dom J. Pucciarelli in Flushing, New York. With autograph envelope.
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      NASA
      National Aeronautics and
      Space Administration

      Washington, D.C. 
      20546

      Reply to Attn of:

      August 16  

      Dear Dom,

      I thank you for your nice letter and I'm delighted that so many people are excited about my new venture.

      I do not have my official NASA photograph as yet but have placed your name on a list so one will be sent to you.

      I'm looking forward to my training in Houston and hope that you are able to tune in to my lessons which will be broadcast live during the shuttle flight.

      Sincerely,

      S. CHRISTA McAULIFFE

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      Page 2 transcript
      National Aeronautics and
      Space Administration

      Washington, D.C.
      20546

      Official Business
      Penalty for Private Use, $300


      S Christa McAuliffe
      8 Pk Ridge
      Concord NH 
      03301

      BOSTON, MA 021
      PM
      22 AUG
      1985

      Postage and Fees Paid
      National Aeronautics 
      and Space Administration
      NASA-451


      Mr. Dom J Pucciarelli
      150-49 77th Road
      Flushing, NY 11367


      NASA