Utah Students to Speak to NASA Astronauts on International Space Station

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, May 18, 2017

Utah students will speak with NASA astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station at 12:40 p.m. EDT Friday, May 19. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer, both of NASA, will speak with students gathered at Utah State University's (USU) Space Dynamics Laboratory in North Logan, Utah. The event will be hosted by USU in partnership with U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Whitson launched to the space station Nov. 17, 2016. Fischer launched to the station in April. Both astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth in September.

Hatch plans to attend the event. He will speak with the students and then open the call to the astronauts. All participating students are focusing their education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

"Our students will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to communicate with astronauts in space," Hatch said. "This historic event is the culmination of months of hard work and coordination between my office and our friends at NASA. Utah has long been a key contributor to NASA missions, and Utah State is one of the leading space-grant universities. That's why I have fought to improve our space exploration capabilities throughout my senate service. It's an honor that our state was chosen to host this special event, which will only strengthen the natural partnership between Utah's STEM workforce and the U.S. space program."

Media interested in covering the event should contact Eric Warren, director of media relations for Utah State University, at 435-881-8439 or The event is scheduled to take place in the Robert F. Bennett Research Laboratory building at the Space Dynamics Laboratory.

A map to the facility can be found here:

The following Utah schools will attend the event:

InTech Collegiate High School, North Logan (grades 8-12)
Logan High School, Logan (grades 9-12)
Mount Logan Middle School, Logan (grades 6-8)
North Sanpete Middle School, Moroni (grades 7-8)
Uintah High School, Vernal (grades 10-12)
Wendover High School, Wendover (grades 10-12)
The following Utah schools are slated to watch the downlink on NASA TV:

Dual Immersion Academy, Salt Lake City
Edith Bowen Laboratory School, Logan
Ephraim Middle School, Ephraim
Wendover Junior High School, Wendover
In preparation for the in-flight education downlink, more than 400 students throughout Utah participated in various space-related activities based on NASA's education resources. These activities range from learning about what life is like for an astronaut in space and exploring space careers to participating in hands-on aerospace engineering activities, such as designing and 3-D printing instruments and tools to be used in space.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in STEM, This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of NASA Education's STEM on station activity, which provides a variety of space station resources and opportunities to students and educators.

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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