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  • NASA and Museum Host International Space Station Day

    NASA and Museum Host International Space Station Day

NASA and Museum Host International Space Station Day

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In July, NASA and the Museum of Science, Boston partnered to host International Space Station (ISS) Day. The agency and Museum briefed local elected officials and staff on the agency's scientific research and the Museum's education activities. ISS research has involved over 1.2 million students in the US, while 40 million more worldwide have participated in educational demonstrations by ISS crew members. The Museum serves millions of people on site and around the world through its STEM programs, exhibits, shows, and K-12 curricula.

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2008 and served as an ISS flight engineer in 2013, told a SRO audience about living and working in space for 180 days. Also Su Curley from NASA Johnson Space Center explained how to design, build, and test the spacesuits astronauts use in the harsh space environment.

Nyberg knew as a child that she wanted to be an astronaut. "I studied hard," she said, especially science, technology, math, and engineering. In 2000, she was selected as an astronaut and her "dream came true." Sitting in the "cupula," a 360-degree window facing Earth, for one 90-minute rotation "gives you a whole new perspective on Earth," she said. But Nyberg isn't just a super-smart engineer. She took a photo later in the day with the Museum's 65 million-year-old Triceratops for her 5-year-old son who loves dinosaurs.

Museum visitors also created their own "flat astronauts," discovered how high they could jump on the Moon, and tried their hand at aerospace engineering, designing, building, and testing a device to hover in a wind tube. Elected officials and other visitors enjoyed the Museum's Planetarium show, Inside NASA: From Dream to Discovery, focusing on the New Horizons spacecraft bound for Pluto and the remarkable engineering of the James Webb Space Telescope, slated for launch in late 2018. In a final highlight, educational non-profit One Giant Leap Inc. displayed New England-themed items that have flown to the International Space Station, including a piece of wood from the USS Constitution and astronaut Catherine "Cady" G. Coleman's pajamas.

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