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January 15, 2009

Sonja Alexander
Headquarters, Washington



Ruth Dasso Marlaire
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Astronauts Call Lakebay Washington Students From Space Station

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - Reporters are invited to witness students from Key Peninsula Middle School of Lakebay, Wash., while they chat with NASA Expedition 18 astronauts Mike Fincke and Sandra Magnus, who are aboard the International Space Station. The downlink will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 10:15 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. PST, at Galaxy Theatres in Gig Harbor, Wash.

Reporters interested in attending the event should contact AJ Witherspoon of Galaxy Theatres at 253-851-8300, or e-mail at ajw@galaxytheatres.com . The event also is open and free to the public.

Joining the students at the event will be Bonnie Dunbar, a former NASA astronaut and CEO of the Museum of Flight in Seattle, and General John Shalikasvili, a former chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs.

Key Peninsula students have been preparing for the downlink by studying the history and mission of the space station, how rockets are made, astronaut selection and training, and mission control and station operations. The school is an alumnus of the NASA Explorer Schools project which provides opportunities for students to engage in science, math, engineering, and technology related critical thinking projects.

The NASA Explorer School project offers a three-year partnership between NASA and school teams, consisting of teachers and education administrators from diverse communities across the country. Focusing on underserved populations, the program is designed for education communities at the fourth to ninth grade levels to help middle schools improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math education.

The downlink event is one in a series with educational organizations in the U.S. and abroad. It is an integral component of NASA's Teaching from Space Program. The program promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of human spaceflight.

The downlink will air live on NASA Television and be streamed on the NASA Web site at:


For information about NASA's education programs, visit:


For information about the space station, visit:



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