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Space Station Downlink

NASA Ed Link

Las Cruces Students to Skype with Astronauts

on International Space Station

July 31, 2018 at City Hall

The Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science will host a Space Science Fair on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 9am-12pm at Las Cruces City Hall. The museum was selected as a host site for a NASA In-flight Education Downlink, a twenty-minute live connection with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). At 9:55am (subject to change) on July 31, twelve Las Cruces kids will take turns asking questions to astronauts Drew Feustel and Serena Auñón-Chancellor (subject to change) in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

The day’s events will run from 9am to 12pm and will begin with a welcome address from Mayor Pro Tem Gill M. Sorg. A Space Science Fair in the lobby of City Hall will have activities and demonstrations for all ages from New Mexico State University STEM Outreach and Department of Astronomy, Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America, FLARE, Explora, Challenger Learning Center, NASA, and the Museum of Nature & Science.

Space Science Fair Schedule

9am-12pm activities and demonstrations

9:15am welcome address from Mayor Pro Tem Sorg

9:55am (subject to change) NASA In-flight Education Downlink

10:30am History of the Space Network and TDRS, Dan Hein

11am ISS/Space Network Enhanced Digital Interface communications, Erik Winter

11:30am ECOSTRESS, Richard Pacheco

Museum of Nature & Science campers and members of the public were invited to “Ask an Astronaut” during June. Those questions were collected and curated for use in Tuesday’s event.

A series of presentations from NASA White Sands Complex will highlight the Las Cruces connection to the communications systems and research projects on the ISS following the Downlink. Deputy Station Director Dan Hein will discuss the history of the Space Network and tracking and data relay satellite (TDRS). Acting Space Communications & Network Services (SCNS) Deputy Space Network Manager Erik Winter will talk about the technological advances in communication between the ISS/Space Network and Earth. NASA IT Security Administrator and Solar System Ambassador Richard Pacheco will close out the event with a summary of the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) project that is currently underway on the ISS.

Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis with additional viewing areas at offsite locations. It is requested that school groups, camps, and other groups planning to attend the event call ahead to Stephanie Hawkins at 575-532-3372 or

The presentations and Downlink will be broadcast live on,, and the Museum’s Facebook page

Admission to the event is free. City Hall is located at 700 N. Main Street.

The Museum of Nature & Science is located at 411 N. Main Street and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4:30pm and Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm.  For additional information, call 575.522.3120.

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