FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Christa McAuliffe Center, in collaboration with Framingham State College, will sponsor events during the week of January 23 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Challenger accident, which occurred January 28, 1986. Among the scheduled activities will be screenings of the documentary Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars, by independent filmmakers Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges. The film is narrated by Susan Sarandon and features the ballad "You're Where I Go" by Carly Simon.
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin says the film is "a compelling and honest account of Challenger 51L's 'Teacher in Space' mission. A portrait of a courageous young teacher whose enthusiasm for education and optimism in the future of America's young people came to express the driving force behind the space program itself - our passionate belief in a boundless future. An inspiring tribute to a true American hero".
Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, a Framingham local and FSC graduate, Class of 1970, was a social studies teacher in Concord, New Hampshire when she was selected from thousands of applicants to be NASA's first civilian astronaut. Her mission was to make space exploration come alive for millions of school children across America.
The documentary examines Christa's personal journey as a fledging astronaut. The producers worked closely with Christa McAuliffe's mother, Grace Corrigan, and other members of her family, gaining access to exclusive family photos and home movies. Together the material paints a new and more intimate portrait of Christa's public and private life.
For more information on the screenings and other activities to mark this anniversary, please contact the Challenger Learning Center at 508-626-4050, or visit: www.christa.org