/ January 18, 2023/

Join us Feb. 10 for a Friday in Space! WA Space Grant and the University of Washington are very excited to present a rare opportunity to chat with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station live — no pre-recorded questions!

The event begins at 10:45 a.m. with a welcome from Gregg Colburn, assistant professor of real estate and longtime friend of NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, and Emily Levesque, associate professor of astronomy and author of “The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers.” Other events bookending the chat with astronaut Cassada include a presentation from Lummi Nation students and a panel with Washington state astronauts.

The highlight of this Friday in Space will be a 20-minute downlink with astronaut Cassada, currently stationed on the ISS. A downlink affords participants on Earth to see video and hear audio from the ISS, while the astronaut will have audio only from Earth’s side of the conversation. During the downlink, UW students, moderated by Prof. Colburn, will have the chance to ask questions directly of astronaut Cassada. We will announce the time of the downlink once NASA has confirmed it with us, which usually happens no later than two weeks prior to the event.

Want to ask a question?

A handful of UW students pursuing space-related disciplines will be afforded the opportunity to ask astronaut Cassada a question during the downlink. Students must be available to attend the event at the HUB in person. If you’re interested in asking a question and you’re able to be at the HUB 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, please register via the Trumba event. We’ll identify students who are in space-related majors and contact them in advance about asking their question. You must formulate your question ahead of time because we need to submit them to NASA prior to the event — this helps astronaut Cassada to answer everyone’s questions even if the connection becomes fuzzy.

Agenda (tentative)

  • 10:45 a.m. — Welcome and introduction with Gregg Colburn (real estate studies) and Emily Levesque (astronomy)
  • 11 a.m. — Presentation on Lummi Nation School’s ISS experiment
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. — NASA astronaut Josh Cassada answers questions live from the ISS (hosted by Gregg Colburn)
  • 12:15 p.m. — Lightning introductions of UW student projects and research (round 1)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Lunch break
  • 1 p.m. — “Ask an Astronaut” panel
  • 1:45 p.m. — Lightning introductions of UW student space-related projects and research (round 2)
  • 2 p.m. — Poster session of UW student projects and research