CHRISTA McAULIFFE: Pioneer Space Teacher by Charlene W. Billings

CHRISTA McAULIFFE: Pioneer Space Teacher

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This routine biography of the teacher who was killed in the Challenger disaster is useful for the inspiration it might engender, but less so for the information it contains. The author, who has written previously on biological topics, is strongest when she describes the training involved in preparing for a shuttle flight by relating McAuliffe's experiences. The design of the shuttle and living in space are clearly and interestingly delineated. The actual biography of McAuliffe, however, is sketchy and rendered in yearbook-like prose, with few revelations about her personality or private life. The most involving section is that inherently dramatic passage describing the final, tragic lift-off, which is simply, yet power. fully, written. The book was begun before the Challenger exploded in mid-air and finished before the Rogers Commission report was completed. The book therefore, while rewritten to include the tragedy, does not go very deeply into its reasons or its implications. The final chapter is little more than a list of memorial services and speeches. What emerges from the total is a fairly inspirational biography that lacks any valuable insights.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1986
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Enslow