McAuliffe Was Exploited, Her Brother Says

Associated Press

Christa McAuliffe’s brother accused NASA today of exploiting his sister for the sake of publicity and called on the government to abandon for now programs to put everyday people into space.

“They shouldn’t be using the public for something that’s mainly for the government,” said Christopher Corrigan, whose sister was chosen to be the first private citizen in space.

Corrigan also said he feels that his sister was used by the space program “because she thought it was more safe than it was.”

His comments ended a year of almost complete silence from relatives of the Concord, N.H., teacher, who was killed along with six fellow astronauts when the shuttle Challenger blew up shortly after liftoff Jan. 28, 1986.


Corrigan said he believes his parents share some of his feelings. They have declined to comment on the accident that killed their daughter.

He said the program did boost the morale of teachers and improve the way the public viewed them, but he said he still believed the space agency took advantage of his sister.

“These teachers, these journalists, I think it’s really using them for the publicity in a negative way,” said Corrigan, 35, a computer technician who works at Framingham State College, where his sister went to school.