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For Release: April 3, 2003

Sally V. Harrington
Media Relations Office

Approaching Deadline for Educator Astronaut Nominations

NASA opened membership in its permanent, full-time astronaut corps to a new kind of astronaut-the educator astronaut-and now the application deadline of April 30 for the Educator Astronaut Program is almost here.

Students, family members, friends and the public are encouraged to nominate K-12 teachers to join NASA's first class of educator astronauts. Since the announcement of the program in late January, NASA has received over 6,000 nominations.

Selected educators will perform the jobs and responsibilities of mission specialist astronauts on Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. Educator astronauts will be trained to perform spacewalks, operate the Shuttle's robotic arm and lead research experiments. In addition, with their teaching skills, educator astronauts will help create extraordinary ways to share the space experience with millions of students and teachers.

"This unique program is part of NASA's effort to connect space exploration with the classroom and to inspire the next generation of explorers," said Jo Ann Charleston, chief of the Office of Educational Programs at NASA's Glenn Research Center. "Educator astronauts will be able to use their experiences to develop curricula that will encourage interest among young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Whether someone is interested in nominating a teacher or an educator is interested in applying for this exciting challenge, the qualifications for an educator astronaut can be found on the Internet at or at the toll-free Educator Astronaut Program (EAP) number: 1-877-332-7876. Educators who are nominated are sent information from NASA about filling out an application.

To learn more about the EAP or other NASA education activities on the Internet, visit:

For more information about NASA on the Internet, visit:

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