Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are honoring a New England teacher who became a tragic hero.
Christa McAluiffe, a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire, was the first teacher selected to go into space. She died after the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff in 1986.
Astronauts are honoring her legacy by teaching her lesson plans from space.
"I can't think of a better time or a better place to make this announcement," said NASA Astronaut Joseph Acaba from the ISS while Skyping with Framingham State University Friday.
"Over the next several months, we'll be working with the Challenger Center to record several of Christa's original lesson plans," Acaba said.
"They were normal people, but incredible people who were heroes to us," Lance Bush, Presisent and CEO of the Challenger Center, said of the shuttle's crew.
Just 73 seconds after the Challenger launched on Jan 28, 1986, it exploded. McAuliffe was killed, along with the six other people on board.
"Today is a very fitting tribute to be able to fly Christa's lessons and do them finally after all these years," said Bush.
"It's really carrying on Christa's legacy," said Irene Porro, director of Framingham State's McAuliffe Center. "What she started 32 years ago hasn't gotten lost."
NASA astronauts Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold II will carry out McAuliffe's teachings.
"We look forward to helping to inspire the next generation of explorers and educators," Acaba said.
The lessons will be filmed and released at a later date.