Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Go Barbara!

A sailboat is "A hole in the water into which you throw buckets of money." If that's true, that the International Space Station must be "A hole in space into which we throw billions of dollars. Until we drop it into the water. Possibly on a sailboat." As you can tell, I'm critical of NASA's manned program; the Shuttle is dangerously outdated, and endlessly circling in low-earth orbit isn't exploring.

That said, I held my breath watching Endeavor launch today, carrying Barbara Morgan, one of the most tenacious people on Earth. (Or off it, temporarily.) Remember that Barbara was the backup for Christa McAuliffe on Challenger. After the disaster, NASA put the Teacher-in-Space Program (and Barbara) in limbo. She went back to teaching school in Idaho, continuing to pester NASA to let her fly, and giving talks about the space program in her spare time.

I attended one of these public lectures in the early 1990s, as a wee lass, and met Barbara after the talk. What I remember is my amazement at her determination -- that she believed she could make NASA let her fly.

In 1998, NASA accepted Ms. Morgan into the astronaut corps. (12 yrs after Challenger.)

In 2007, Barbara Morgan blasted into space onboard Shuttle Endeavor. That's 22 years after she was selected as the backup Teacher-in-Space. Twenty-two years!

1 comment:

Karen said...

I remembered you talking about meeting her when I read the articles. :)

yay! Go Barbara!