US Coins

Design review panels agree on McAuliffe silver dollar

The CCAC recommended the same designs as the CFA, concurring with those favored by the U.S. Mint liaison and McAuliffe family.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint

Designs favored by the family of the late astronaut Christa McAuliffe for a 2021 commemorative silver dollar were recommended June 23 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The Commission of Fine Arts recommended the same designs June 18 to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin for final approval.

The recommended designs were among 12 proposed obverse and 15 proposed reverse designs considered by both review panels at their respective meetings.

The recommended obverse features a three-quarters left portrait of the first teacher scheduled to go into space.

The recommended reverse depicts McAuliffe pointing with her right index finger to the stars as three high-school age students share in her ambition for space exploration.

The panel scrutinized 12 obverse and 15 reverse designs. The recommended obverse and reverse designs reflect those favored by the Mint’s design liaison and the McAuliffe family.

McAuliffe, a high school teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, was killed along with six other U.S. astronauts when the space shuttle Challenger broke up soon after takeoff on Jan. 28, 1986.

Authorizing legislation requires the coin to focus on McAuliffe, apart from her fellow astronauts killed in the accident: mission commander Dick Scobee, pilot Mike Smith, and astronauts Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, and Ellison Onizuka.

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