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NES Video Chat: Benefits of Science Experiments Aboard the ISS
May 11, 2012

Date: May 11, 2012
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EDT
Grade Level: 7-12
STEM Subject: Science: Scientific Method
STEM Career: Research Scientist

 As soon as the International Space Station was habitable, it was used to study the impact of microgravity and other space effects on several aspects of our daily lives. Station astronauts conduct science daily across a wide variety of fields, including human life sciences, biological science, human physiology, physical and materials science, and Earth and space science. So far, more than 400 experiments have been conducted on the space station over nine years of continuous research.

During this video chat, Dr. Tara Ruttley, associate program scientist for the International Space Station, answered questions from students in grades 7-12 about the complexity of conducting research aboard the space station, a one-of-a-kind orbiting science lab. In addition to answering questions about the challenges of research in microgravity, she answered questions about the benefits from past and current experiments that help make life on Earth better for people of all nations.

While growing up, Ruttley was inspired by the pictures of the space shuttle and the astronauts in their white spacesuits doing spacewalks! Ruttley always wanted to work with the U.S. space program and had a particular interest in biology and physiology. She is fascinated with how microgravity affects human physiology from the systems level all the way down to the cellular level. Her interdisciplinary background provides the skills needed to coordinate experiments from many different fields of science and technology.

As associate program scientist for the space station, Ruttley represents all aspects of NASA science on the space station. This includes coordination of experiments with scientists and international partners, as well as communicating information about the experiments and the results to the public.

Related Resources:
› Build a Mission →  
› A Day in the Life Aboard the International Space Station
› Astronaut Journals
› Station Spacewalk Game
› Letters to Earth: Astronaut Don Pettit Blog →  
› Benefits of ISS Research
› NASA Spinoff Public Service Announcements
› NASA Spinoff →  
› International Space Station
› Women at NASA →  
› Tara Ruttley Biography →  

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Tara Ruttley
Dr. Tara Ruttley is an associate program scientist for the International Space Station.
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