Since the beginning of the Space Age, 50 years ago, students have been told that if they studied math and science, they could grow up to become astronauts and go into space.

Unfortunately, that was a false promise. Even at the height of the Shuttle program, a student had a better chance of becoming an NBA basketball player than a NASA astronaut. No wonder today’s students show more interest in athletics than math and science.

What if we could turn that around? What if we could show students that they have a real chance for a future in space?

Imagine thousands of astronaut teachers, in schools all across the country, sharing their spaceflight knowledge and experiences with millions of students. This vision could become a reality within the next ten years.

Private companies are now developing a new generation of reusable space vehicles, which will dramatically improve safety and reduce the cost of human spaceflight. In the next few years, these vehicles will allow many thousands of people to fly in space.

We created the Teachers in Space program to make sure that teachers are among those who have a chance to go. As a new age of opportunity unfolds, who better than teachers to lead the way?

Unlike NASA’s Educator Astronaut program, which takes teachers out of the classroom to join the NASA astronaut corps, Teachers in Space (now Citizens in Space) will allow teachers to “keep their day jobs.” Training will require only a few weeks and take place during the summer. Teachers will be able to complete the program without having to take time away from the classroom.

For further background on our program, see Teachers in Space: The History.

Written by Astro1 on January 24th, 2012