About 200 young space fanatics from schools and youth centers all over Hampton Roads will chat with NASA Astronauts Christina H. Koch and Drew Morgan at the Slover Library this month. Twenty of these students will read questions submitted by children across the nation for the astronauts to answer live from the International Space Station.
The live In-Flight Education Downlink is an opportunity for people to learn more about space and the life of an astronaut from the astronauts themselves. A downlink is a way to communicate through satellites or spacecraft, which is how we're able to communicate with the astronauts while they’re in space.
The library was selected as the site for a 20 minute live downlink between noon and 2 p.m. Aug. 9. The specific time slot will be confirmed later this week and posted on Slover Library’s website.
Other host sites include the New York Police Department; Asbury Elementary School in Hampton; Milby High School in Houston; the Mobius Science Center in Spokane, Washington; and George Washington University. To see how past interviews between Earth and space have turned out, visit the NASA STEM YouTube channel.
Other space related activities include a planetarium for children to view constellations and demonstrations on how to build binoculars The K4AMG Memorial Amateur Radio Club also will teach kids how to use radio equipment.
NASA selected Koch as an astronaut in 2013, and she completed her training in July 2015. She is part of the Expedition 59 and 60 crew that launched to the International Space Station in March 2019. Koch will set the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with an expected total of 328 days in space.
Dr. Andrew “Drew” Morgan was selected by NASA in 2013. He is an emergency physician in the U.S. Army with a subspecialty certification in primary care sports medicine. Prior to his selection to NASA’s 21st group of astronauts, Morgan served in elite special operations units worldwide. He is assigned to serve aboard the ISS as a flight engineer for Expeditions 60, 61 and 62.
Those unable to attend the downlink event can watch it through NASA TV.