August 27, 1984President Ronald Reagan announces the Teacher in Space Program (TiSP) which was designed to inspire students, honor teachers, and promote interest in STEM subjects. The program would take the first civilian, a teacher, into space as a Payload Specialist and return them to Earth to talk about the experience with their students. TiSP was the first in a series of planned programs to send civilians into space, first a teacher, then a journalist, possibly an artist or poet afterwards.
After receiving 11,000 teacher applications and training a select group of finalists, the chosen teacher was Christa McAuliffe with Barbara Morgan as her backup. McAuliffe planned to broadcast two lessons from space to millions of American children to spark their interest in science and space. Tragically, Christa McAuliffe died in the Challenger explosion, and TiSP was cancelled as NASA decided space exploration was too dangerous for civilians. In 2007, Barbara Morgan would travel into space as the 1st Educator Astronaut after becoming a fully trained Mission Speciailist.