Puerto Rico Students to Speak with NASA Astronaut on Space Station

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, January 5, 2018

Several hundred students from 30 schools across Puerto Rico will speak with a NASA astronaut living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station at 11:15 a.m. EST Friday, Jan. 12. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Students will travel to Manatí, Puerto Rico, for the call to Expedition 54 astronaut Joe Acaba aboard the space station, and will have an opportunity to ask questions about life aboard the space station, NASA’s deep space exploration plans, and doing science in space.

Although Acaba is a native Californian, both of his parents were born in Puerto Rico. Acaba arrived at the space station on Sept. 12 on his third space mission, and is scheduled to return to Earth in February.

Some 30 school districts from 12 cities participate in the Puerto Rico Institute of Robotics’ (PRIOR) network, which was selected through a competitive process to host a downlink with the station. PRIOR is a dynamic collaboration of educators, business leaders and representative from local government and the military, working to introduce and link students, teachers, and the community to the vast array of space, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) resources in their region.

Students from across the participating districts have been preparing for the event by studying the space station, astronaut biographies, and the current research and activities happening aboard the station. More than 500 attendees are expected to be on-site at Manatí during the downlink event.

Media interested in attending the event should contact Wence Lopez via email at or phone at 787-385-1200. Juan Aubin Cruz Coliseum will host the event at Coto Sur, Manatí, Puerto Rico.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in STEM. This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, which provides extensive space station-related resources and opportunities to students and educators.

Follow the astronauts on social media:

See videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station at:

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