Students at Laing Middle School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, near Charleston, will speak with a NASA astronaut living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station at 11:30 a.m. EDT Monday, Oct. 2. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 53 Commander Col. Randy Bresnik is a member of The Citadel class of 1989. He will answer questions from students at Laing Middle School. The school is hosting the event with the help of Citadel cadets and The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence. Cadets will lead the younger students as they pose questions to the Citadel astronaut alumnus.

Bresnik launched to the space station July 28 and is expected to return to Earth in December. A Marine Corps veteran, Bresnik is one of the college’s most visible principled leaders. In May of 2004, Bresnik was selected from among 4,000 applicants to become one of the 11 members of NASA’s Astronaut Class 9 and the first graduate of The Citadel to fly in space. Expedition 52/53 is Bresnik’s second mission to the space station; the first was in 2009.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Kim Keelor at Laing Middle School is at 2705 Bulrush Basket Lane in Mt. Pleasant.

The cadets will lead a two-part event for the eighth-grade students, visiting the class first to teach them about Bresnik, the space station, how the live downlink works and conduct an in-class lesson related to the space station. On Oct. 2, they will lead the conversation with Bresnik, guiding the participating students as they ask questions that are expected to revolve around Bresnik’s work with space station experiments and space fitness. Middle school students across the South Carolina Lowcountry and cadets on The Citadel campus are expected to watch the event on NASA TV.

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

Follow the astronauts on social media at:

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