Friday, June 20, 2008

U.S. House honors American hero, Christa McAuliffe

U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey. D-Mass., joined his colleagues in passing legislation yesterday to establish a scholarship program in honor of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher-turned-astronaut whose journey captivated a nation and sparked a renewed interest in space exploration. McAuliffe grew up in the seventh congressional district in Framingham, Mass. and later attended Framingham State College, as well as a teacher in Concord, N.H.

Rep. Markey said in a press release, “Despite the tragic Challenger explosion that claimed her life along with the lives of her fellow astronauts, Christa’s courage, creativity and curiosity embodied the best values of our educational system and remain an inspiration to students around the world. She was a true American hero.

“This scholarship will encourage women to enter the space sciences, a fitting goal considering Christa’s life work. While women have made significant gains in the last few years, they continue to be underrepresented in space sciences and aeronautics. There is no better way to honor a pioneer that inspired millions while promoting education and space exploration than with a scholarship program to advance that very cause.”

The Christa McAuliffe scholarship program passed the House of Representatives as an amendment to H.R. 6063, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008. H.R. 6063 now moves to the Senate for approval.

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