NASA Says Parents, Siblings ‘Coping Well’
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) _ Christa McAuliffe’s parents, brothers and sisters came home Wednesday under heavy security, and a NASA spokeswoman said they would remain in seclusion as they mourn the teacher who died with six others on the space shuttle Challenger.
″They’re coping very well, and trying to get their lives back in order. They’re trying to relax a little bit,″ said Linda Long, a NASA representative who accompanied the family from Florida.
McAuliffe’s parents, Edward and Grace Corrigan, have made no funeral arrangements, said Ms. Long.
The Corrigans were taken from an airplane at a remote section of Logan International Airport and escorted home by state police.
They were accompanied by their four children - Betsy and Stephen Corrigan of California and Christopher Corrigan and Lisa Bristol of the Framingham area - said Ms. Long, who had advised McAuliffe on how to handle the media during her shuttle training.
Ms. Long said the family would wait for the return of McAuliffe’s husband and two children before issuing a statement.
″It will probably be in the next couple of days,″ Ms. Long said. ″There won’t be any press conference or photos with the family. You can understand how they feel.″
McAuliffe, who died Tuesday when the space shuttle Challenger exploded, was born in Boston and grew up in the suburb of Framingham, where she was popular at Marian High, a private Catholic school. She attended Framingham State College, not far from the home where her parents still live.
McAuliffe, a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire, was to be the commencement speaker at Marian High in June.
″Today, the mood here is rather meditative,″ said Sister Anna Vincent Clark, principal of the school.
Marian High joined more than 20 Boston-area radio stations at 10 a.m for a minute of silence in honor of McAuliffe and the Challenger crew.