Dulles, Virginia 25 May 2017 -- Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA) Delaware Section, announced this week that it has helped secure a live video downlink between astronauts aboard the International Space Station and the students of Leeds Elementary School in Elkton, Maryland. Currently scheduled for June 9, the downlink will give Leeds students a chance to speak one-on-one with NASA astronaut Col. Jack Fischer, U.S. Air Force, a flight engineer currently stationed aboard the space station as part of Expedition 51/52. NASA will simulcast the downlink over their broadcast signals and online live streams.
Orbital ATK and AIAA in Delaware are co-sponsors of the event with Cecil County Maryland Public Schools. Volunteers from Orbital ATK have worked with Leeds Elementary for years as part of its ongoing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach activities. Engineers from the company hosted a live viewing of the Orion Exploration Flight Test (EFT-1) at Leeds in 2014.
“It’s exciting to see just how much interest there is with these students, and we’ve been working with them for months to prepare for the event,” said Timothy Dominick, Orbital ATK’s STEM Council Chair for its Elkton, Maryland, facility. “Just this year we organized a ‘Life in Space’ science show that taught them about the technical challenges of safely traveling to and from outer space.” Orbital ATK also brought in engineers to visit classrooms at Leeds to host hands-on activities like the launching of sodium bicarbonate rockets and astronaut spacewalk training.
NASA selects just a handful of educational organizations from across the country to participate in this program, which is designed to encourage students to study areas of and pursue careers in STEM. Leeds was selected from among the many other candidates based on questions students submitted, a process that began nearly a year ago. Teachers, members of AIAA and Orbital ATK have supported the students in the classroom.
Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in STEM fields. This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of NASA Education’s STEM on Station activity, which provides a variety of space station resources and opportunities to students and educators.
About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 12,500 people in 18 states across the United States and in several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
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