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    Tuesday, May 18, 2021

    Students to Sign and Speak to NASA, ESA Astronauts in Orbit

    Space-savvy students from across the nation who are deaf, blind, hearing and visually impaired and their mentors will have a unique opportunity this week to connect with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The Earth-to-space call will air live at 10:40 a.m. EDT Wednesday, May 19, on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency's website.

    NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will answer prerecorded video questions collected by SciAccess, which works to promote disability inclusion in astronomy and STEM, and the Ohio State University Department of Astronomy. SciAccess and Ohio State have partnered to create Zenith, a mentorship program for blind high school students who are passionate about space.

    The call is designed to promote inclusion in space and announce Mission: AstroAccess, the newest SciAccess project, which aims to pave the way for space explorers with disabilities. The Zenith scholars, and students and teachers from schools serving learners across America who are deaf or blind, have submitted questions for the call.

    The event will take place virtually and feature American Sign Language (ASL) and live Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) captioning. Media interested in covering the event should contact Anna Voelker at: 412-303-7317 or thesciaccessconference@gmail.com.

    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.

    For more than 20 years, astronauts have continuously lived and worked on the space station, testing technologies, performing science, and developing the skills needed to explore farther from Earth. Through NASA's Artemis program, the agency will return astronauts to the Moon, with eventual human exploration of Mars. Inspiring the next generation of explorers – the Artemis Generation – ensures America will continue to lead in space exploration and discovery.

    Follow America's Moon to Mars exploration at: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars 

    Follow NASA astronauts on social media at: https://www.twitter.com/NASA_astronauts

    See videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station at: https://www.nasa.gov/stemonstation


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