Endeavour carries teacher into space |
After Endeavour launched into the clear blue sky and reached orbit with teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan aboard, Mission Control announced that class was in session.
Morgan, zooming with the other crew members toward the international space station, was finally fulfilling the space programme's quest to send an educator into space a dream that could have died in 1986 with the Challenger explosion that killed teacher Christa McAuliffe and six astronauts.
Once Endeavour was safely past the 73-second mark of the flight, the moment when Challenger exploded, Mission Control exclaimed that Morgan McAuliffe's backup for Challenger was "racing toward space on the wings of a legacy."
Immediately after the shuttle reached orbit, Mission Control announced: "For Barbara Morgan and her crewmates, class is in session."
Endeavour was scheduled to dock with the space station on Friday afternoon, after astronauts spend a day checking for possible damage from debris shaken loose during Wednesday's launch.