Alamogordo students to talk with astronauts in NASA downlink program

Joseph M. Acaba is currently aboard the ISS as part of the Expedition 53/54 crew. He is one of the astronauts who will be speaking to students during the Alamogordo Downlink Project.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – Alamogordo students are reaching for the stars, or at least talking to the explorers who live among them.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, in addition to the Alamogordo School District and the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, have been selected by NASA to take part in a downlink from the International Space Station.

The project will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Alamogordo High School’s Tiger Pit.

As part of the “Year of Education on Station,” the museum was one of 14 organizations selected to host a downlink which allows students to learn first-hand what it takes to live and work in space.

The program was designed to encourage student involvement and interest in STEM.

“It is so exciting for [Alamogordo Public Schools] to be the first K-12 school district in the state to be part of this wonderful endeavor. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to interact with astronauts onboard the International Space Station- something that we hope inspires them for a lifetime,” said Superintendent Adrianne Salas.

Students from Alamogordo High School, Academy del Sol, Chaparral, Mountain View, and Hollowman Middle Schools will participate in the Alamogordo Downlink project.

Over 1,200 students are expected to view the downlink.

Students will be divided into teams, one team from each school with team members being chosen by the school’s principals and science teachers.

Spokesmen from the teams will then take turns asking questions of Astronauts Joe Acaba, Scott Tingle and Mark Vande Hei.

The general public can watch the project live on NASA’s website at the Flickinger Center 1110 N. New York Avenue where a space museum educator will be discussing the project.

Viewing will be free for parents and the public, however, seating will be on a first come first served basis.

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