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Challenger's legacy: Christa's lessons will live on

January 28. 2018 2:32AM

Christa Mcauliffe experiences weightlessness aboard a NASA training flight. (NASA)

New Hampshire took great pride in Christa McAuliffe.

The Concord High School teacher was selected from 10,000 applicants to be the first teacher in space.

It was 32 years ago this morning that McAuliffe and six crew mates took off aboard the space shuttle Challenger, and never returned.

Their loss was devastating to the Granite State and the nation.

In one small way, McAuliffe's legacy will be reborn, as NASA has revived her lesson plans from that lost mission, and plans to teach them to students from orbit later this year.

McAuliffe primarily taught social studies at Concord High School, but her lessons on the space shuttle were obviously going to center on science. Astronauts Joe Acaba and Ricky Arnold plan to perform four of McAuliffe's lessons, on bubbles, liquids, chromatography, and Newton's laws, while on board the International Space Station. Video of these lessons will be posted by the nonprofit Challenger Center, and should be available to science classrooms around the world this spring.

Pushing the limits of human knowledge requires pioneers willing to risk the dangers inherent in such an endeavor.

It is fitting, and touching, for NASA to remember the lessons McAuliffe had planned to give. We remember the bravery and the sacrifice of the Challenger Seven, and all those who have died on mankind's journey to the stars.

Christa McAuliffe stands at left with the rest of the Challenger STS-51L crew: Greg Jarvis, Judith Resnik, mission commander Richard Scobee, Ronald McNair, Michael Smith and Ellison Onizuka. (NASA)

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