Are You Ready for Space Day?
It's an exciting time of year. Summer is almost here, and the end of the school year is getting close, but other exciting things are happening, too. For example, Space Day is just around the corner on May 4. Do you have plans for Space Day? If not, you're in luck. Tell your teacher that NASA, AOL and the Space Day organization are working together to give you a front-row seat for a great Space Day event.
Image to right: Millions of students around the world have participated in Space Day events. Credit: Space Day
NASA is also participating in a Space Day event on Friday at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington. Associate Administrator Rex Geveden, astronaut Carl Walz and educator astronaut Ricky Arnold will address the gathering.
Space Day started in 1997 and is held each year on the first Thursday in May. The goal of Space Day is to share the excitement of space exploration. Space Day is a time to learn more about our universe and to excite others about space, too.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will be hosting one of the most exciting Space Day events. Astronauts and other space experts will talk about training to go to space, traveling to space, and living and working in space. Thanks to a NASA partnership with AOL's service for kids, KOL™ (Kids Online), your class can watch the event through a webcast. To find more Space Day information and activities, visit the KOL and Educator Astronaut project Web sites.
Radio KOL's "DJ Rick" will host the hour-long webcast with the help of NASA astronauts. About 2,000 students have been invited to attend the event in person. They will get to ask the speakers questions.
Image to left: KOL's DJ Rick will host the webcast. Credit: AOL
Space Day isn't just for people ON the planet. Students participating in Space Day will have an "out of this world" chance to talk with the crew on the International Space Station. The ISS is a giant laboratory, orbiting over 200 miles above the surface of Earth. The current crew on board is Expedition 13. Pavel Vinogradov is the ISS commander. Jeff Williams is the flight engineer and NASA science officer. Part of their mission is to prepare the station for new additions. They also have to work to take care of the ISS, and they conduct science experiments in orbit. The crew will pause from their normal work to talk with students participating in Space Day. During this 20-minute period, students will ask questions and the crew will answer. (The downlink can also be viewed on NASA TV.)
"We're thrilled to participate with NASA in Space Day to allow AOL's KOL kid users and Radio KOL fans the opportunity to learn directly from astronauts about space travel and rockets, plus have the opportunity to get to talk live to the International Space Station crew," said KOL education director Mark Stevens.
Space Day program manager Kay Armstrong said that future exploration depends on people like you. Many of today's scientists and engineers will be retiring soon. It is important that today's students be ready to continue the work of exploring space. One of the goals of Space Day is to show how exciting that work can be.
Mike Green, acting manager of NASA's Educator Astronaut project, said he is excited about Space Day. He hopes that one day some of the students participating in Space Day will come to work for NASA. He said that he is looking forward to working with AOL on this and other projects. Green also said this is just one of many exciting things to come for NASA education.
Image to left: The Expedition 13 crew of the space station will talk with students live from orbit. Credit: NASA
In addition to watching the webcast, you may want to join the millions of students around the world who have participated in Space Day activities. You can talk to your teacher and visit the Space Day Web site to get ideas. Explore a whole universe of possibilities!
David Hitt/NASA Educational Technology Services