GREENCASTLE, Pa. ? When Heather Slatoff received an invitation to join Buzz Aldrin, Anousheh Ansari, Frank White and others on the Teachers in Space (TIS) advisory board, the Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School teacher asked one question: "Why me?"
But there was no question in the mind of TIS project team leader Bill Boland.
"Heather is clear-thinking, energetic, vibrant, and so obviously committed to teaching," Boland said. "After meeting her, I said, 'That's the teacher, that's why we're in this.'"
Boland said the eight-member board needed the perspective of a teacher "on the ground" to help guide the project.
Teachers in Space is a project of the Space Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit education foundation dedicated to advancing NewSpace or private space exploration.
Using many ideas from the Ronald Reagan-era Teachers in Space program by NASA, Boland said that the project hopes to send about 500 teachers into space starting in 2010.