Educator Astronaut Biography: Barbara R. Morgan
Barbara Morgan, NASA’s first educator astronaut and a mission specialist assigned to the STS-118 flight aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, poses for a preflight portrait.
Credit: NASA

NAME: Barbara Radding Morgan
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born November 28, 1951, in Fresno, California. Married to Clay Morgan. They have two sons. Barbara plays flute and enjoys reading, hiking, swimming, skiing, and her family.

EDUCATION: Hoover High School, Fresno, California, 1969; B.A., Human Biology, with distinction, Stanford University, 1973; Teaching Credential, College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California, 1974.

ORGANIZATIONS: National Education Association; Idaho Education Association; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; National Science Teachers Association; International Reading Association; International Technology Education Association; Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

SPECIAL HONORS: Phi Beta Kappa, NASA Headquarters Special Service Award, NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award. Other awards include Idaho Fellowship Award, University of Idaho President’s Medallion Award, International Technology Education Association Lawrence Prakken Professional Cooperation Award, Challenger Center for Space Science Education Challenger 7 Award, National Space Society Space Pioneer Award for Education, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Wright Brothers “Kitty Hawk Sands of Time” Education Award, Women in Aerospace Education Award, National PTA Honorary Lifetime Member, and USA Today Citizens of the Year.

EXPERIENCE: Morgan began her teaching career in 1974 on the Flathead Indian Reservation at Arlee Elementary School in Arlee, Montana, where she taught remedial reading and math. From 1975-1978, she taught remedial reading/math and second grade at McCall-Donnelly Elementary School in McCall, Idaho. From 1978-1979, Morgan taught English and science to third graders at Colegio Americano de Quito in Quito, Ecuador. From l979-l998, she taught second, third, and fourth grades at McCall-Donnelly Elementary School.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Morgan was selected as the backup candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Program on July 19, 1985. From September 1985 to January 1986, Morgan trained with Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger crew at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Following the Challenger accident, Morgan assumed the duties of Teacher in Space Designee. From March 1986 to July 1986, she worked with NASA, speaking to educational organizations throughout the country. In the fall of 1986, Morgan returned to Idaho to resume her teaching career. She taught second and third grades at McCall-Donnelly Elementary and continued to work with NASA’s Education Division, Office of Human Resources and Education. Her duties as Teacher in Space Designee included public speaking, educational consulting, curriculum design, and serving on the National Science Foundation’s Federal Task Force for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.

Selected by NASA as a mission specialist in January 1998, Morgan reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1998. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, she was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Space Station Operations Branch. She then served in the Astronaut Office CAPCOM Branch, working in Mission Control as prime communicator with on-orbit crews. More recently, she served in the Robotics Branch of the Astronaut Office. Morgan is assigned to the crew of STS-118, an assembly mission to the International Space Station. The mission will launch in 2007.

Last Updated: May 2007