Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other students in St. Paul, Minn., will make a special call to the International Space Station on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 12:55 p.m. EDT. This is the first-ever Boy Scout Council/NASA live in-flight education downlink and only the second within Minnesota. It takes place at Base Camp, Northern Star Council’s new facility, located at Fort Snelling. The live, local connection with the International Space Station will feature a 20-minute question-and-answer session with Expedition 28 astronauts Ron Garan Jr., Mike Fossum, and Satoshi Furukawa.
The downlink astronauts will be shown live on Base Camp’s 19’ screen and throughout the 35,000 square foot facility, allowing for hundreds of young people to participate. Many science and space-related activities will also happen that day. Participants will Build mini hover crafts, experience Base Camp’s NASA space shuttle simulator (the Midwest’s only simulator and one of eight in the nation), view the stars in a portable planetarium and more.
The NASA space shuttle simulator was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, C. Jackson Foundation and Total Learning Research Institute, Incorporated. The activities will be provided by The Works, the Minnesota Planetarium and the Boy Scouts.
In preparation for the event, Scouts have been working toward several merit badges related to space exploration (computers, astronomy, weather, etc.) and engaging in aerospace learning experiences, simulations, and research that exposes them to the challenging endeavor of human space exploration. These Scouts attended several events with local partners: the Minnesota Astronomy Department, Twin Cities National Weather Service and Minnesota Amateur Space Modeler Association, among others.
The in-flight education downlink is part of a series with educational organizations in the U.S. and abroad to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. It is an integral component of Teaching From Space, an agency education program that promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of space and NASA’s human spaceflight program.
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For information about NASA’s education programs, visit:
For more information about the International Space Station, visit: