Christa McAuliffe Coin Now Law, Benefits FIRST Robotics

Oct 9, 2019

The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act was co-authored by N.H. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
Credit NASA

President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that will create a commemorative coin to honor Christa McAuliffe, the Concord High School teacher who died in the space shuttle Challenger disaster 33 years ago.

The bill calls for the creation of a $1 coin to raise money for the FIRST Robotics program.

The Treasury is directed to mint and issue up to 350,000 of the $1 silver coins.

The design shall bear an image and McAuliffe's name on one side, and a design on the other side that depicts McAuliffe's legacy as a teacher.

Lawmakers say the coin honors McAuliffe and reaffirms Congress' commitment to invest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education.

McAuliffe would have been NASA's first designated teacher in space. She and six crewmates were killed when the Challenger broke apart shortly after takeoff on Jan. 28, 1986.

Trump signed the bill Wednesday.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wy., were lead sponsors of the bill. Reps. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., and Chris Pappas, D-N.H., were co-sponsors in the House.

"I'm heartened by the bipartisan support that ushered this bill through Congress, which will create a truly fitting tribute in Christa McAuliffe's memory," Shaheen said in a statement. "Forging a coin in her likeness with proceeds bolstering STEM education not only ensures generations of Granite Staters and Americans know her story, but it continues her mission to get kids involved in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math."