Former teacher recalls applying to program, 1986 shuttle disaster

While teaching at Tope Elementary School, Mary Graham applied to be the first teacher in space and made the first cut of applicants. She withdrew her application after learning she was pregnant. Graham, who is now retired, was watching the televised Jan. 28, 1986, launch of Challenger when things went horribly wrong.



011411 Mary Graham
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While teaching at Tope Elementary School, Mary Graham applied to be the first teacher in space and made the first cut of applicants. She withdrew her application after learning she was pregnant. Graham, who is now retired, was watching the televised Jan. 28, 1986, launch of Challenger when things went horribly wrong.

That recollection of the telltale curl of smoke in the clear, blue Florida sky still haunts Mary Graham, who had aspired to be aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. Graham, then a…




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