Listen to The Perfect Scam Podcast and Nominate It for a People’s Choice Podcast Award! Find Out More
by Ken Budd, AARP The Magazine, January/February 2008 issue|Comments: 0
Each night on the space shuttle Endeavour, Barbara Morgan would float near a window and marvel at the earth. At the city lights of Africa. At flickering yellow storms above the Indian Ocean. At our small, small place in a truly immense universe. "My first surprise was how black space really is," says Morgan, 56, recalling her August 2007 mission. "Pictures don't capture the depth and breadth of the color. It's the softest, smoothest, creamiest black." That Morgan ever enjoyed such a view is a testament to her galaxy-size dreams. In 1984 she was one of 11,000 eager applicants for NASA's new Teacher in Space program—"I want to get some stardust on me," she had written the space agency. Only two candidates were chosen. One was Morgan, an Idaho elementary-school teacher. The other was an upbeat teacher from New Hampshire named Christa McAuliffe. After the 1986 Challenger disaster, Morgan became one of NASA's most vocal supporters, promoting space exploration and believing that children should learn from the tragedy, that we respond to adversity in life with courage and determination, not fear. And so, too, did Morgan remain determined to reach space. In 1998, more than ten years after she'd returned to her Idaho classroom, NASA selected her to join its astronaut training program in Houston. This time she would be not only an educator but a full-fledged astronaut. Yet her true mission, she believes, is to stir students' passion for science, and to encourage the stars in their eyes: "I want all of our students and teachers to get some stardust on them."
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members can print free coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by Coupons.com.
Exclusive savings and benefits with the AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford.
Members save on monthly usage charges and get free activation. No contract is required.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at