I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I was only three years old when Challenger exploded, so I have no memories of my own in regards to this event. Yet it is one that has endlessly grabbed my attention when I learned about it years later. Even as an adult, I have never stopped learning about NASA, space travel, the discoveries made, and even the tragedies. Time and again we've risen up after falling, honoring those who gave their lives in the pursuit of knowledge by going even further.
Christa McAuliffe was killed along with the six crew members aboard Challenger on January 28th, 1986. She'd been one of 10,000 applicants vying for the spot, and finally was named the winner of the NASA Teacher in Space Project. She would be conducting experiments in space that would be shown in classrooms all across the US.
She would never get the chance, however, because a little over a minute after take-off massive explosions tore the Challenger apart in mid-air. The crew compartment remained intact and investigations have concluded that all seven were still alive when they hit the water - nearly three minutes after the initial explosions. There is no doubt for many who knew him that Michael J. Smith did his best to pilot the remainder of the craft the entire way down in an attempt to save himself and his crew.
Though the book is new to me, it is a revised edition of the earlier text. I am not sure what information is new and what was written then, though I do know that it was updated in part to include the passing of McAuliffe's mother in 2018.
Christa's story is important, because it is truly a testament to a teacher's love for her students students across the country, and her chosen field. She embarked on a journey to broaden the horizons of many and though her dream was cut short, her legacy has made just such a thing possible.
Despite being such a short biography (around 100 pages), it is filled with so much detail and we really get to know McAuliffe, what drove her to apply, and why she was such a beloved teacher at Concord High School. She was incredibly dedicated and her passion for instilling knowledge into young minds was obvious.
Today there are about 40 schools all over the world named in honor of Christa McAuliffe, as well programs, fellowships, and more.