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Shuttle Pilot Set to Talk With Students from Orbit

November 19, 2009

Congressman Bart Gordon and Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville will host a live conversation between more than 120 students and NASA astronaut Barry E. Wilmore on Sunday, Nov. 22. Wilmore is the pilot of space shuttle Atlantis, which launched Nov. 16 on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station. Members of Wilmore’s family also will attend the event.

The live call from orbit will take place between 11:08 a.m. and 11:28 a.m. CST. Twenty students, ranging from kindergarten to college age, will ask questions of Wilmore and fellow astronauts Nicole Stott and Leland Melvin. Stott has served as a flight engineer and member of the Expedition 21 crew living aboard the International Space Station for more than two months. She will return to Earth aboard Atlantis. Melvin is a mission specialist and crewmate of Wilmore’s aboard Atlantis.

Reporters interested in attending the event should contact Monica Greppin at 931-372-3214.

Gordon is the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee. Wilmore was born and raised in Gordon’s district in Tennessee and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Tennessee Technological University.

The downlink is one in a series with educational organizations in the U.S. and abroad to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is an integral component of NASA’s Teaching From Space office. The office promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of human spaceflight.

Tennessee Tech University and WCTE, the local PBS affiliate, will carry a live feed of the event at: http://www.tntech.edu and http://www.wcte.org

For more information about Wilmore, visit: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/wilmore-be.html

For information about NASAs education programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education

For information about the sts-129 space shuttle mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle




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