We congratulate and commiserate with La Jolla High School teacher Gloria McMillan, who last week was eliminated from the competition to become America's first teacher in space.
Naturally it's disappointing to lose after having worked as hard as she did to become the one chosen from the 113 candidates who survived the competitions in their home states. But McMillan, an English teacher, knows that the quest to travel in space is probably as important as the flight itself.
Just as the space program has been built on the cumulative efforts--including the failures--of thousands of Americans, we hope future astronauts and leaders of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will profit by the energy and ideas that schoolteachers across the country have put into this competition.
McMillan's own goal for participating on a space shuttle mission was an admirable one--to move beyond the technical achievements of space flight to communicate the human experience of it to our children. It's a notion that does honor to the Teacher in Space Program--and to Gloria McMillan.