S. Christa (Corrigan) McAuliffe

(1948 – 1986)

space(third from the left)

Christa Corrigan was born on September 2, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts to Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Corrigan, who reside in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Christa graduated from Marian High School, Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1966; received a bachelor of arts degree from Framingham State College in 1970; and a masters degree in education from Bowie State College, Bowie, Maryland in 1978.

Christa Corrigan married Steven James McAuliffe, and she had two children Scott Corrigan (September 11, 1976), and Caroline Corrigan (August 24, 1979).

She held several teaching position between between 1970 and 1985 in both Maryland and New Hampshire.  Her final position in 1985 was with Concord High School, Concord, New Hampshire teaching courses in economics, law, American history, and a course she developed entitled “The American Woman,” to 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

Christa was also very involved in organizations and community activities.  She was a board member of:  New Hampshire Council of Social Studies; National Council of Social Studies; Concord Teachers Association; New Hampshire Education Association; and the National Education Association.  Besides these organizations she was: member, Junior Service League; teacher, Christian Doctrine Classes at St. Peter’s Church; host family for A Better Chance Program (ABC), for inner-city students; and fund-raiser for Concord Hospital and Concord YMCA.

McAuliffe was selected as the primary candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Project on July 19, 1985.  She was scheduled to fly on Shuttle Mission 51-L, set for launch no earlier than January 22, 1986, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Mrs. McAuliffe was Teacher in Space Participant on STS 51-L which was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 11:38:00 EST on January 28, 1986.  The crew on board the Orbiter Challenger included the pilot, Commander Mike J. Smith (USN), Commander Dick Scobee, three mission specialists, Dr. Ron E. McNair, Lieutenant Colonel El S. Onizuka (USAF), and Dr. Judy A. Resnik, as well as two civilian payload specialists, Mr. Greg B. Jarvis, and Mrs. S.C. McAuliffe.  The STS 51-L crew died on January 28, 1986 after Challenger exploded 1 min. 13 sec. after launch.

(src:  National Aeronautics and Space Administration / Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center)