Washington, D.C. – The Science, Space, and Technology Committee today held a live downlink with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The satellite feed allowed Members of the Committee to ask questions of U.S. Astronauts Steven Swanson and Reid Wiseman live from the Destiny Lab module, where they conduct scientific experiments in the weightlessness of space.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “Aboard the Space Station we can develop new materials and medicines that make their way into the commercial products we use here on Earth. More importantly, the Station is a place to test new technologies that could assist future astronauts when they venture to Mars and other moons and planets throughout our solar system. Space inspires future generations to dream big and work hard. Many Americans remember where they were 45 years ago last Sunday when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The first foot prints on the moon’s surface were made by Americans. The U.S. should always lead the way in space exploration.”
The ISS is in orbit 260 miles above the Earth and is traveling at 17,000 miles per hour. It is roughly the size of a football field including the end zones and has livable space to allow six astronauts to live and work there. The six astronauts include two Americans, three Russians, and one European.
Committee Members asked Dr. Swanson and CDR Wiseman about a wide range of topics, including NASA’s next human exploration goal, space debris, STEM education and inspiring the next generation of explorers.
Following the event, members and the public were able to view some of the compelling microgravity research being conducted on the ISS.
To view the archived webcast of the downlink, please visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.