Monterey Students Set to Receive Call from Orbiting Space Shuttle Astronauts -- Including Former Teacher

WASHINGTON -- Eighth grade students and children of the military
community in California's Monterey Peninsula area will speak with
astronauts orbiting 220 miles above Earth on Saturday, April 10.

The call with the students and space shuttle Discovery Commander Alan
Poindexter, Pilot Jim Dutton, and Mission Specialist Dottie
Metcalf-Lindenburger will take place at 7:36 a.m. PDT at the Naval
Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Reporters interested in attending the event must contact Alan Richmond
at 831-656-3649 by 3 p.m. on April 7.

The Naval Postgraduate School has educated 38 NASA astronauts,
including Poindexter and former astronaut Dan Bursch, the school's
National Reconnaissance Office Chair, who is leading the downlink

Discovery and its crew launched Monday, April 5, from NASA's Kennedy
Space Center in Florida. During the 13-day mission to the
International Space Station, the astronauts will deliver science
experiments and supplies; take three spacewalks to switch out a
gyroscope on the station's truss, or backbone; install a spare
ammonia storage tank and return a used one; and retrieve a Japanese
experiment from the station's exterior.

Metcalf-Lindenburger is one of three teachers selected to fly as
shuttle mission specialists in the 2004 Educator Astronaut Class. She
operates the shuttle's robotic arm. Without robotics, major
accomplishments like building the station, repairing satellites in
space and exploring other worlds would not be possible.

To introduce the students to the mission and prepare them for the
downlink, the Naval Postgraduate School produced a video using NASA
footage of Discovery and the STS-131 crew in training. Astronaut John
Phillips and former astronaut Jim Newman, both professors at the
school, will join Bursch to provide an overview of the mission. They
will answer questions before and after the downlink about how to
become an astronaut, pursue a career in space, and train for shuttle
missions. Students from the Graduate School of Engineering and
Applied Sciences will host a variety of space artifact displays for
the student participants.

The Naval Postgraduate School is a leader in space systems education
and active in space-related outreach and education in the local and
regional community; it celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2010.

The event 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. The in-orbit call is part of
Teaching From Space, a NASA project that uses the unique environment
of human spaceflight to promote learning opportunities and build
partnerships with the kindergarten through 12th grade education

NASA Television will air video of the astronauts during the downlink.
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information,


For information about NASA and robotics, including messages from
Metcalf-Lindenburger for teachers and students, visit:


For information about NASA's education programs, visit:


For information about the space shuttle and its crew, visit:


The Naval Postgraduate School's STS-131 video is available at:


Source: NASA

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