Press Release

Challenger Center Links Students via Radio to the Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
September 26, 2008
Filed under ,
Challenger Center Links Students via Radio to the Space Station

Alexandria, VA – Richard Garriott, the next civilian to fly into space and son of NASA’s Skylab Astronaut Owen Garriott, plans to talk to students through live amateur radio downlinks during his October flight to the International Space Station. The downlink events will be held during Garriott’s flight and are currently scheduled for Thursday, October 16th and Friday, October 17th with middle school students from Challenger Learning Centers across the country. The event will be broadcast live on the national website:

Students from Howard B. Owens Science Center’s Challenger Center in Lanham, Maryland, Challenger Learning Center of Columbia in South Carolina, Verizon Challenger Learning Center at MOSI in Tampa, Florida and the Brownsburg Challenger Learning Center in Indiana plan to ask their questions about living and working in space of Mr. Garriott on October 16th. Students from the Indianapolis Challenger Learning Center in Indiana, Challenger Learning Center at Paducah in Kentucky and Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis in Missouri will talk to Mr. Garriott on Friday, October 17th.

Garriott’s efforts will continue educator astronaut Barbara Morgan and Christa McAuliffe’s legacy of teaching from space and will reach children around the world via a live broadcast of the events. Lessons in support of Garriott’s on orbit activities, archived webcasts, podcasts, and student’s predictions of what will happen in the weightless environment of space are available on Challenger Center’s national website,

The primary purpose of ARISS is to allow students engaged in a science and technology curriculum to speak with an astronaut orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station. Using amateur radio, students ask questions about life in space or other space-related topics. Through this hands-on experience, students are engaged and educated in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and are inspired to pursue STEM-related careers. For more information about amateur radio on the ISS, please visit:

Challenger Center for Space Science Education was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts of the space shuttle Challenger 51-L mission and is dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission. Challenger Learning Center programs at 50 centers continue the crew’s mission of engaging teachers and students in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. To locate a Challenger Learning Center near you, visit

For Challenger Center information, please contact:

Rita Karl, Director of Educational Programs
Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Alexandria, VA

If you are a member of the media and would like to request an interview with Richard Garriott, please contact: Stacey Tearne, Space Adventures

SpaceRef staff editor.