Local Students to Hear From NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins, Live From Aboard Space Station – Pasadena Now

NASA astronaut and Expedition 67 Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins familiarizes herself with systems and procedures aboard the International Space Station having been aboard the orbiting lab for just a few days in this image from May 1, 2022. [NASA]

Providing direct access to astronauts aboard the International Space Station, Caltech students, faculty, and staff members – on campus and at JPL – will interact with NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins on Tuesday, Aug. 9, through a unique question-and-answer NASA in-flight education event.

Participants in Pasadena will be able to see and hear Watkins live from space responding to their pre-recorded questions.

For the public, the NASA Earth-to-space call will also air live at 9:55 am on Tuesday, August 9 on NASA TV and streamed live on the NASA website at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

“Jessica Watkins was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. Watkins reported for duty in August 2017 and completed two years of training as an astronaut candidate,” according to NASA.

Her astronaut candidate training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training, water and wilderness survival training, geology training, and expeditionary skills training.

Watkins is currently serving as a mission specialist on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station, which launched on April 27, 2022.

Watkins conducted her graduate research on the emplacement mechanisms of large landslides on Mars and Earth. At NASA, she worked at the Ames Research Center and JPL and was a science team collaborator for the Mars rover Curiosity program.

Laurie Leshin, JPL Director and Caltech Vice President, will deliver the opening remarks for this event.

Members of the Caltech community will watch the live stream together inside Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium.

“Providing students direct access to astronauts aboard the International Space Station delivers an exceptional, unique experience, designed to enhance student learning and interest in STEM fields. Caltech and JPL have a keen interest and dedication to encouraging STEM learning,” Caltech said in a statement.

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