Educating From Orbit
Endeavour's STS-118 mission is a particularly important space milestone for the education community, marking the first flight of an Educator Astronaut, mission specialist Barbara Morgan.

STS-118 crew standing in front of a space shuttle
NASA is celebrating that milestone through a variety of special resources and activities tied to STS-118, before, during and after the mission.

Image to right: The members of STS-118 shuttle crew are (from left) mission specialists Rick Mastracchio and Barbara Morgan, pilot Charlie Hobaugh, commander Scott Kelly, and mission specialists Tracy Caldwell, Canadian Space Agency's Dave Williams, and Alvin Drew. Credit: NASA

The STS-118 space shuttle crew will continue support for education while on orbit, through a series of space-to-ground conversations with students.

The conversations will be broadcast live on NASA TV and webcast online so that students anywhere can hear what the crew has to say. The downlinks support NASA's goal of attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

The first downlink is tentatively scheduled to be held on Aug. 14, 2007, at 3:09 p.m. Mountain time, with the Discovery Center of Idaho, a hands-on science museum in southwestern Idaho that serves 100,000 visitors a year. In addition, the museum has educational programs that serve 30,000 students statewide. Astronaut Clay Anderson, a member of the International Space Station's Expedition 15 crew, will join the shuttle crew for this downlink.

Related Resources
+ STS-118 Mission

+ NASA Education Web site


+ School Meets Space
The second downlink is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 16, 2007, at 8:51 a.m. EDT, with the headquarters of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in Virginia. CCSSE is a not-for-profit educational organization founded by the families of the astronauts who died during the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. The family members and CCSSE have developed a network of 49 Challenger Learning Centers across the nation, through which 400,000 students and 25,000 teachers experience simulated space missions each year.

The third downlink is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 19, 2007, at 7:56 a.m. EDT, with the Robert L. Ford School in Lynn, Mass. The Ford School is a member of the NASA Explorer Schools project, and is a full-service community school that offers a variety of services to help support families and students. With an approach it describes as "a neighborhood village with the school at the center," the Ford School constantly reevaluates how it can best serve its population of students. Check the NASA TV Web site for times and the most up-to-date schedule of events.

Check the NASA TV Web site for times and the most up-to-date schedule of events.

The STS-118 shuttle mission continues the assembly of the International Space Station. During the mission, the crew is installing the Starboard 5, or S5, truss segment, the latest addition to the station's "backbone" truss. In addition to Morgan, the crew includes commander Scott Kelly, pilot Charlie Hobaugh, and mission specialists Dave Williams of the Canadian Space Agency, Rick Mastracchio, Tracy Caldwell and Alvin Drew. For more information and other education activities involving the mission, visit the STS-118 mission homepage.

David Hitt/NASA Educational Technology Services