Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Sharon Christa McAuliffe (1948-1986) was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to become the first private citizen to fly on the Space Shuttle as part of the Teacher in Space Program. McAuliffe was assigned to be part of the crew of Space Shuttle Mission STS-51L aboard the Challenger (OV-99) and was scheduled to conduct experiments as well as teach lessons from space that would be broadcast to schoolchildren via closed-circuit television. On January 28, 1986, the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch when a external fuel booster failed. All seven members of the crew died. Marcia Holland was a teacher at Central Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas who wrote a letter to Christa McAuliffe wishing her well and telling her that Holland's students were keeping journals similar to that McAuliffe planned to keep during her flight onboard the Space Shuttle.

Identifier

NASM.2018.0033

Processing Information

Arranged, described, and encoded by Jessamyn Lloyd, 2018.

Creator

McAuliffe, Sharon Christa,, 1948-1986.

Date

1986-1987

Provenance

Marcia Holland, Gift, 2018, NASM.2018.0033.

Extent

0.18 Cubic feet (1 box)

Summary

This collection consists of one letter, on National Aeronautics Administration (NASA) Teacher in Space Program letterhead, from Sharon Christa McAuliffe in reply to Marcia Holland. It is signed by McAuliffe and includes a handwritten postscript. The collection also includes an invitation for the dedication ceremony of the Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Lenexa, Kansas on September 27, 1987 at which the letter was exhibited.

Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Type

Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Correspondence

Invitations

Arrangement note

This collection is in chronological order.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one letter, on National Aeronautics Administration (NASA) Teacher in Space Program letterhead, from Sharon Christa McAuliffe in reply to Marcia Holland. It is signed by McAuliffe and includes a handwritten postscript. The collection also includes an invitation for the dedication ceremony of the Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Lenexa, Kansas on September 27, 1987 at which the letter was exhibited.

Genre/Form

Correspondence

Invitations

Rights

Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Topics Astronautics
Astronauts
Space flight
Educators

Citation

Sharon Christa McAuliffe Letter, NASM.2018.0033, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid