Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation Names Barbara Morgan Recipient of 2024 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Feb. 6, 2024 — Space Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, offering information, education and collaboration for the global space ecosystem, today announced that it has selected Barbara Morgan, former astronaut and educator, as the recipient of this year’s Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award.

Space Foundation presents the award in memory of the late Douglas S. Morrow, renowned Academy Award-winning writer and producer, space advocate, and former Space Foundation board member, to an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to the public awareness of space programs.  

“At Space Foundation we have a saying: ‘Every mission begins in a classroom.’ Throughout her career, Barbara has been a steadfast champion for the special role that educators play in shaping our future with space,” said Space Foundation CEO Heather Pringle. “Barbara’s leadership in the classroom, in the astronaut corps, and as a public figure for education is both remarkable and inspirational. She has uniquely distinguished herself as a teacher in space, a teacher about space and a teacher for space.”   

Morgan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology from Stanford University in 1973 and then earned her K-12 lifetime California teaching credential at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, CA. Driven by a passion for teaching, she embarked on a career as an elementary school teacher in McCall, Idaho. Selected as the backup candidate for the Teacher in Space Project, a NASA initiative, she attended training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston from September 1985 to January 1986. Morgan was selected as a mission specialist in 1998 and underwent two years of training and evaluation at the Johnson Space Center.  

In 2007, Morgan traveled to space by participating in the STS-118 mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. During this mission, she skillfully operated the robotic arms of both the shuttle and the space station, executing precise maneuvers to install hardware on the International Space Station (ISS) and offering support for spacewalks. During her time in space, she conducted engaging lessons that captivated the imaginations of schoolchildren worldwide. These educational sessions brought science and space exploration to life for countless students. She became the first educator astronaut to successfully complete a spaceflight.  

Beyond her achievements in space, Morgan continued to contribute to the field of education, and in 2008, joined Boise State University, becoming Distinguished Educator in Residence. This unique faculty position involved a dual appointment to the colleges of engineering and education, showcasing her expertise and contributions to both fields. Her groundbreaking journey inspired countless individuals to pursue careers in science and education.  

The award will be presented April 8, 2024, during Space Foundation’s Space Symposium opening ceremonies to be held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.  

 About Space Symposium 

Space Symposium, hosted by Space Foundation since 1984, is the premier assembly for the global space ecosystem. The live event, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is widely attended by commercial and government leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, and teachers around the globe. To learn more about Space Symposium, visit 

About Space Foundation  

Space Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, offering information, education and collaboration for the global space ecosystem. Driven by partnerships, Space Foundation unites the entire spectrum of stakeholders — business, government, education and local communities — through support from corporate members, sponsors, fundraising and grants. Visit Space Foundation at, and follow us on Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. 


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Tags: Space Foundation, Space Symposium, Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award, space industry event, space technology, space innovation, space ecosystem, space-inspired industries, space exploration, space derived, space advocate, Dr. Barbara Morgan 

Media Contacts: 

Rich Cooper
Vice President, Strategic Communications & Outreach
Space Foundation
(202) 596-0714
[email protected]  

Dottie O’Rourke
TECHMarket Communications
(650) 344-1260
[email protected]