Students Talk to Astronauts in Space

Students from college to kindergarten have the chance to ask an Atlantis space shuttle astronaut -- including Tennessee Tech alumnus Barry Wilmore -- a question while the crew is working aboard the International Space Station during its November mission. The Millard Oakley STEM Center is sponsoring the "Soaring Eagle Question Contest" for students in the Upper Cumberland. Winners will ask questions through a live NASA education downlink on TTU's campus scheduled for Nov. 22.

Barry Wilmore at TTU in 1985

Commander Charlie Hobaugh will lead the STS-129 mission to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Atlantis. Barry Wilmore will serve as the pilot. Mission Specialists are Robert Satcher, Michael Foreman, Randy Bresnik and Leland Melvin. Wilmore, Satcher and Bresnik will be making their first trips to space.

The mission will return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth. STS-129 is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight to or from the space station.

Atlantis will deliver parts to the space station, including a spare gyroscope. The mission will feature three spacewalks.

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STS-129 is the 31st shuttle mission to the station. For more information, click here.

The International Space Station is a partnership of the US, Russian, European, Japanese, and Canadian Space Agencies. The station has been continuously human occupied since Nov 2, 2000. Orbiting 16 times per day at 17,500 miles per hour 250 miles above the ground, it passes over 90% of the world’s surface. When complete in 2010, it will weigh over 800,000 pounds and have a crew of 6 conducting research and preparing the way for future exploration to the moon and beyond.


On the front row are Commander Charlie Hobaugh (left) and Pilot Barry Wilmore. On the back row (from left) are astronauts Leland Melvin, Mike Foreman, Robert Satcher and Randy Bresnik, all mission specialists. Image credit: NASA

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