NASA Astronauts to Call Indiana, Texas, Virginia Students from Space

NASA Astronauts to Call Indiana, Texas, Virginia Students from Space
International Space Station Expedition 33 flight engineer Kevin Ford (on screen) answers questions from students during a downlink event held in honor of International Education Week at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. © Carla Cioffi / NASA

Students across the country will have three opportunities to hear from NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The Earth-to-space calls will air live Monday, Feb. 7, Wednesday, Feb. 9, and Friday, Feb. 11, on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

NASA astronaut Kayla Barron will answer prerecorded video questions from K-6 students at North Decatur Elementary in rural Indiana at 1:10 p.m. EST Monday, Feb. 7. The downlink rounds out a unit of space-themed STEM curriculum at the school and will provides students with real-world examples of why skills in science, technology, engineering, and math are important.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, and Mark Vande Hei will answer prerecorded video questions from students at Worthing Early College High School in Houston at 1:15 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 9. The downlink is part of the school’s “Sunnyside Goes Intergalactic” Earth science unit of study, which challenges students to practice sustainability.

Vande Hei also will answer prerecorded video questions from students at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, Virginia, at 1:10 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 11. The event is part of an initiative to encourage students to incorporate space into their schooling and their lives. It is supported by a partnership linking regional industry and academic institutions, and will highlight local internships, transfer opportunities, scholarships, and outreach programs.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance, and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Astronauts living in space on the orbiting laboratory communicate with NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston 24 hours a day through the Near Space Network’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).

For more than 21 years, astronauts have continuously lived and worked aboard the space station, testing technologies, performing science, and developing the skills needed to explore farther from Earth. Through NASA’s Artemis program, the agency will send astronauts to the Moon to prepare for future human exploration of Mars. Inspiring the next generation of explorers – the Artemis Generation – ensures America will continue to lead in space exploration and discovery.