Students will gather at National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington for an opportunity to speak with a NASA astronaut currently living and working aboard the International Space Station. at noon EDT Thursday, Nov. 3. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough will answer questions from the students. Kimbrough launched to the station on Oct. 19 and will return home in February.

NASA’s Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the International Space Station, and NASA scientist and astronomer Michelle Thaller also will share stories about their careers and NASA’s Journey to Mars in a panel discussion before the downlink. The event is connected to National Geographic’s six-part “MARS” television series.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Kelsey Flora at National Geographic headquarters is located at 1145 17th Street N.W.

This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of the NASA Office of Education’s efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning in the United States. Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station through the agency Office of Education’s STEM on Station activity provides authentic, live experiences in space exploration, space study and the scientific components of space travel, while introducing the possibilities of life in space.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: 

For more information, videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station, visit: