Inspiring Iowa's Future Astronauts

Jan 19, 2017  | 30 min  | 2017

Astronaut and Iowa native Dr. Peggy Whitson speaks with fourth graders at Iowa PBS's studios in an exclusive downlink from the International Space Station (ISS), where she serves as mission commander for the research team. Students ask Dr. Whitson questions about life in space and her scientific work.


Iowa PBS was awarded an exclusive NASA downlink from the International Space Station (ISS) for a one-on-one interview with astronaut and Iowa native, Dr. Peggy Whitson. Dr. Whitson is on Expedition 50/51, her third long-duration mission to the ISS. Iowa PBS and NASA provide all Iowans a glimpse into the life of Dr. Whitson and the ISS.

Iowa PBS invited fourth graders from Oskaloosa and Mt. Ayr Community Schools to its Johnston studios to participate in the downlink and enjoy hands-on STEM activities provided by the South Central STEM Region manager, FIRST Robotics and Grout Museum. Students attended a live, interactive performance by Josh Denhart, The Chemistry Guy. During the 20-minute downlink, students asked Dr. Whitson questions about space and her current mission.

Dr. Whitson graduated from Mt. Ayr Community High School and Iowa Wesleyan College. 

Learn more about Dr. Whitson's mission. Explore photos and videos of Expedition 50! 

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