BRIGHTON, Tenn. (WREG) — Students at Brighton Elementary School in Tipton County were selected to participate in a question and answer session with two astronauts for International Stem Day.
As the students gathered in the gym for the space week session, the real astronauts aboard the International Space Station were passing overhead and preparing for a live downlink to the school.
“For the downlink to happen, the space station has to be somewhere in the vicinity of Tipton County above us, and so that’s real exciting,” said Kathryn Vaughn, Brighton Elementary School art teacher.
A total of 20 students submitted pre-recorded questions to the astronauts, which were answered during the live downlink. Most of the questions were centered around how food is grown in outer space.
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“They need the atmosphere to be right, not too hot, not too cold, the right mix of oxygen and carbon dioxide,” said Jasmin Moghbeli, Exp. 70 Flight Engineer. “But how they get those things can be a little different here in this weightless environment.”
The astronauts also demonstrated the difficulty of drinking water or how their freeze-dried food is prepared along with other questions about their life in outer space.
“It’s kind of cool being in space, looks like it would be cool ’cause you get to float around and play around, but still it’s a big job,” said fifth grader Connor Thornton.
Brighton Elementary School applied a few times before actually being selected for the session. Every year, a dozen school groups are selected for the NASA Uplink Program.