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Iowa Students to Speak to NASA Astronaut on the International Space Station

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson performs an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) exam. Researchers believe that the measurement of visual, vascular and central nervous system changes over the course of this experiment and during the subsequent post-flight recovery will assist in the development of countermeasures, clinical monitoring strategies, and clinical practice guidelines. Credits: NASA

Students from Oskaloosa and Mt. Ayr Community Schools in Iowa will have the opportunity to speak with a NASA astronaut living and working aboard the International Space Station at 10:25 a.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 19. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson, an Iowa native, will answer questions from fourth graders assembled at Iowa Public Television’s studios in Johnston, Iowa. Whitson launched to the space station on Nov. 17 and will live aboard until the spring.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Susan Ramsey at 515-725-9703. The IPTV studio is located at 6450 Corporate Drive in Johnston.

This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of the NASA Office of Education’s efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning in the United States. Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station through the agency Office of Education’s STEM on Station activity provides authentic, live experiences in space exploration, space study and the scientific components of space travel, while introducing the possibilities of life in space.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:

For more information, videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station, visit:


Sarah Ramsey
Headquarters, Washington
William Jeffs
Johnson Space Center, Houston