Tune in for the Earth-to-space call between California students and astronauts aboard ISS

Eager students and potential space explorers from local California schools will get the opportunity to hear from NASA astronauts currently stationed aboard the International Space Station (ISS). 

Anyone can watch the Earth-to-space call on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website when it airs live at 12:35 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 18. 

NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker will answer prerecorded questions from K-12 students from seven California school districts, NASA says

The districts include Pomona Unified, Ontario-Montclair, Chaffey Joint Unified, Claremont Unified, Mountain View Unified, Fontana Unified, and Rialto Unified. 

Prior to the space call, Glove and Walker will also be live from the International Space Station on FOX 11's Good Day LA during the 7 a.m. hour local time to answer even more questions from elementary students.

The event hits home for Glover, a native of Pomona, California who graduated from Ontario High School. 

During the event, students will get a chance to connect with astronauts directly and get an in-depth look into what it’s like living aboard the space station. 

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Astronauts have been living on the ISS for over 20 years now, where they have been testing technologies and developing skills to set up the future generation of space adventurers. 

U.S. Rep. Norma Torres of California’s 35th Congressional District will give prerecorded opening and closing remarks for the event. 


In this handout provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), back dropped by planet Earth the International Space Station (ISS) is seen from NASA space shuttle Endeavour.

"Astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker are proof to kids across the Inland Empire that they too can make big dreams a reality if they strive for them," Torres said. "After a year of remote learning that has created new challenges for students and teachers alike, nothing could be more important than to encourage our youth to set their sights high. I look forward to this once-in-a-lifetime conversation direct from space and thank Victor, Shannon, and NASA for their willingness to make it happen."

Recently, U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei learned just last week that he’ll launch April 9 on a Russian rocket to the International Space Station thanks to a film project spearheaded by a partnership between NASA and Russia’s Channel One and a TV film studio.

In a news conference on Monday from cosmonaut headquarters in Star City, Russia, Vande Hei said he may have to give up his return Soyuz seat in the fall to a Russian space tourist who's interested in filming up there. If that happens, he and possibly one of his two Russian crewmates would have to wait for the next Soyuz ride home — most likely in spring 2022.

"Honestly, for me, it’s just an opportunity for a new life experience," he told reporters. "I’ve never been in space longer than about six months, so if someone tells me I’ve got to stay in space for a year, I’ll find out what that feels like. I’m really enthusiastic about it.

Experiences like Hei’s and the other astronauts currently living on the station are the sort of inspirational tales of heroism and science that the students and many online viewers can expect to hear about.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.