Morgan trained 22 years ago as the backup to Challenger crew member Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire social studies teacher who died along with six astronauts seconds after the Challenger liftoff on January 28, 1986, when a booster rocket blew up.
Civilian fliers were banned from shuttles after Challenger and Morgan joined the astronaut corps in 1998.
Today, NASA is moving forward with a new focus for the manned space program: to go out beyond Earth orbit for purposes of human exploration and scientific discovery. And the International Space Station is now a stepping stone on the way, rather than being the end of the line.
As a fan of Gene Roddenberry's vision of space exploration in both the Star Trek movies and TV series, I certainly hope that they find more evidence of life beyond Earth. It is less isolating to think that our existence is all that there is in this universe.
Writing a blog about your life and interests can also be isolating. I would love to hear your comments and questions as you continue on your own personal life quest. I know that learning is very stimulating but getting different points of view broadens the discussion. Where or what would you like to explore today?