West Virginia Students to Speak to NASA Astronauts on Space Station

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Students in West Virginia will speak with NASA astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station at 10:25 a.m. EDT Friday, March 17. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The event will be hosted by the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, West Virginia, in partnership with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson, both of NASA, will answer questions from students throughout West Virginia in grades seven through 12.

Kimbrough launched to the space station Oct. 19, 2016, and will return next month. Whitson launched to the space station Nov. 17, 2016, and is scheduled to return to Earth later this spring.

Bryan Hughes of WOWK-TV and Sen. Manchin, along with other West Virginia officials, will open the downlink with a voice check call-up to the station. Before and following the live downlink, students will have the opportunity to attend an “Out of this World Career Fair” and interact with a variety of West Virginia colleges and universities including West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia State University, the University of Charleston, and BridgeValley Community and Technical School.

Students and guests also will have the opportunity to speak with a wide variety of state businesses and organizations in the fields of engineering, aeronautics, mathematics and science, including Orbital ATK, NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility, Bombardier, Toyota, Mined Minds Computer Coding, West Virginia University Amateur Radio Club, the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard and Sen. Manchin’s Military Service Academy Nomination Committee.

This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of the NASA Office of Education’s efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning in the United States. Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station through the agency Office of Education’s STEM on Station activity provides authentic, live experiences in space exploration, space study and the scientific components of space travel, while introducing the possibilities of life in space.

Media interested in covering the event must contact Morgan Robinson, director of communications at the Clay Center, by calling 304-561-3586 or email

Get NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information at:

Learn about videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station at:

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