Students from California and Indiana, along with staff members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, will have the opportunity this week to hear from astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The two space-to-Earth calls will air live today, Tuesday, Aug. 9, and Thursday, Aug. 11, on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency's website.
NASA astronaut and former California Institute of Technology student Jessica Watkins will answer prerecorded questions from undergraduate and post-doctoral students and faculty from Caltech, as well as JPL staff members, at 12:55 p.m. EDT today, Tuesday, Aug. 9. Caltech and JPL have a keen interest and dedication to encouraging STEM learning. Laurie Leshin, director of JPL and Caltech vice president, will deliver opening and closing remarks.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will answer prerecorded questions from students at Van Buren Elementary School in Nashville, Indiana, at 1:05 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. Van Buren Elementary offers students educational experiences in STEM, the arts, and career-connected learning. The downlink will kick off a school-wide STEM-a-Thon. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb will deliver opening remarks.
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 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, with eventual human exploration of Mars. Inspiring the next generation of explorers – the Artemis Generation – ensures America will continue to lead in space exploration and discovery.
See videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station at: www.nasa.gov/stemonstation.