VANCOUVER, Wash. -- One of the seven astronauts who blasted off on space shuttle Discovery Monday was a former high school teacher from Vancouver, Wash. and the pilot grew up in Oregon.
Slideshow: Discovery launch
Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger taught Earth science and astronomy for five years in Vancouver and now lives in Texas.
It was a question about how astronauts go to the bathroom in space from one of her students at Hudson's Bay High School that sent the teacher to NASA's Web site where she saw the notice for educator-astronauts. Metcalf-Lindenburger was accepted into the program in 2004 and this is her first flight.
Metcalf-Linderburger and her husband, Jason have a 3-year-old daughter. More: Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger's bio
On the International Space Station Metcalf-Lindenburger will be responsible for operating a robotic arm to help other astronauts during space walks.
Metcalf-Linderburger wasn't the only astronaut on this mission from the Northwest. Pilot James Dutton, Jr. grew up in Eugene.
Dutton graduated from Henry D. Sheldon High School in Eugene before moving to Colorado to get his degree in astronautical engineering. His wife was also from Eugene and his parents still live in Newberg.
More:James Dutton's bio
Monday's Discovery launch was hailed as a great success by NASA.
Mike Moses, chair of the Mission Management Team, said it was, a spectacular launch and picture-perfect countdown. He outlined a few minor technical issues that were recorded, but that the spacecraft and crew were ready to start an action-packed mission.