Students at Museum of Flight to Speak with a NASA Astronaut Aboard Space Station

SEATTLE – On March 2, hundreds of greater Seattle middle and high school students will meet in The Museum of Flight’s theater as the big screen beams a live video chat with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir aboard the International Space Station. The students in the Northwest and around the world participated in a NASA and Microsoft Education challenge to devise ways to ease the foot pain that some astronauts experience during prolonged spaceflight. Now they can compare notes with an astronaut in space! The 20-minute Earth-to-space call begins at 9:55 a.m.

Joining the students and their teachers will be former shuttle astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger and NASA representatives. Students all over the world prepared for the space call by designing prototypes of protective footwear for astronauts through Microsoft Education and NASA STEM on Station’s Astro Socks Design Challenge, and have submitted their questions for the orbiting astronaut.

Students around the globe can tune-in early and view the downlink via the Microsoft Education Downlink Website or NASA TV. The Astro Socks Design Challenge is one of a collection of middle and high school STEM lessons created through a partnership between NASA In-Flight Education and Microsoft Education, with the event done in cooperation with The Museum of Flight.

Media are encouraged to arrive early.

Afternoon NASA and Microsoft Activities Offered at the Museum
The theater event is exclusively reserved for the participants, but Museum visitors can watch the downlink on monitors next to the Great Gallery. Space-related family activities will continue there from noon to 3 p.m., when NASA reps will give VR tours of the International Space Station and Kennedy Space Center, while Microsoft educators will offer hands-on STEM activities about UV rays and living in space.

NASA VR Tours:
Tour the International Space Station

Take a virtual reality tour of the International Space Station on Google Expeditions. Participants will see what the astronauts see as they find themselves immersed in 360° photographs inside the modules of the space station.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
Explore the facilities helping NASA and commercial partners Boeing and SpaceX build and launch spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011. Through 360° videos, participants can visit the floor of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 and train underwater with astronauts in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab.

Microsoft’s Hacking STEM Activity:
Make bracelets with UV beads, watch them change color and detect UV rays from different light sources. This activity comes from the Microsoft Hacking STEM lesson What is the electromagnetic spectrum? The lesson offers hands-on activities that develop 21st century technical skills and is part of a collection of lessons that celebrate the considerations that astronauts need to think about when living and working in space.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Astronauts living in space on the orbiting laboratory communicate with NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston 24 hours a day through the Space Network’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).

For Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

NASA astronauts (from left) Christina Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan peer through the International Space Station’s “window to the world,” the cupola. The trio were on robotics duty monitoring the arrival and capture of the Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman. (Nov. 4, 2019)