Rachel KraftJohnson Space Center, Houston
WASHINGTON -- NASA is seeking proposals from educators who are looking for a unique way to inspire the next generation of explorers. Formal and informal education organizations can apply to host live interactive education downlinks with astronauts onboard the International Space Station.
Proposals are being accepted for downlink opportunities during space station missions scheduled for March to September 2012. The deadline to submit comprehensive proposals that target a large number of participants is Dec. 21.
During Expeditions 31 and 32, NASA crew members Don Pettit, Joseph Acaba and Sunita Williams will participate in the 20-minute downlink opportunities. Participants on Earth see and hear the crew members live from space, while the crew hears the questions but does not see the audience.
U.S. educational organizations such as school districts, museums, science centers, national and regional education organizations and local, state and federal government agencies are eligible to participate. NASA provides this opportunity at no charge to the host institution. NASA personnel will work with the organization to help plan the event.
"Educational downlinks provide unique opportunities for students around the country to learn more about living in space and exploring beyond Earth's boundaries," said Cindy McArthur, Teaching From Space project manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The downlink opportunities are broadcast live on NASA Television and are streamed on the NASA website. Due to the nature of human spaceflight operations, organizations must demonstrate the flexibility to accommodate changes in downlink dates and times. Participating organizations also must have two dedicated phone lines and be able to receive NASA TV via NASA's Live Interactive Media Outlet, or LIMO, channel in order to communicate with and view the crew.
These educational opportunities are made available through Teaching From Space, a NASA education initiative. Interested organizations should contact Teaching From Space to obtain information related to expectations, content, format, audience, proposal guidelines and forms by sending an e-mail to JSC-Teaching-From-Space@mail.nasa.gov or by calling 281-244-7608. Teaching From Space will hold several online information sessions designed to provide more information about downlinks and the proposal process.
For more information on the initiative, visit http://go.usa.gov/Xqt.
For more information about NASA's education programs, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education.
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