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Live from space

[Feustel in space (Photo: NASA)]
Drew Feustel (PhD’95) is a Queen’s alumnus and astronaut, currently living on the International Space Station. (Photo credit: NASA)

Drew Feustel (PhD’95), Queen’s graduate and NASA astronaut, has been hard at work since his arrival at the International Space Station (ISS) on March 23. But coming soon, Dr. Feustel will be taking a break from his space walks and zero gravity experiments to talk to a live audience right here at Queen’s.

The Ask an Astronaut: NASA Educational Downlink event on Friday, April 6, will include a 20-minute conversation with Dr. Feustel, featuring questions gathered earlier in the month from the Queen’s and Kingston community. During this unique event, the audience will hear directly from the astronaut himself about the challenges of researching in zero gravity, day-to-day life aboard the ISS, and what it’s like to perform a spacewalk. This is the first time NASA has granted a Canadian school the opportunity to hold an educational downlink live from space.

“The research work we are doing about the International Space Station is truly expanding the boundaries of our knowledge of space and I’m very excited to be able to speak to students and the entire Queen’s community about what we are learning and what life is like aboard the station,” says Dr. Feustel. “I’m also looking forward to talking about my own path and how it brought me to where I am now so the next generation can see that no goal is too great for them to achieve.”

Along with Dr. Feustel, the Ask and Astronaut event will also feature stellar talks about the many aspects of space research from special guests, including Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow and Planetary Scientist Michelle Thompson (Artsci’11, Sc’11), Nathalie Ouellette (MSc’12, PhD’16) of the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC), and Nandini Deshpande from the School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

“This is a rare opportunity for people to gather and interact with a scientist who is helping to carry out an impressive number of research projects each day aboard an international space station,” says John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research). “As an exciting complement to Dr. Feustel’s downlink, the event will also be a chance for people to hear from some top space experts who come from a range of backgrounds and are based here at Queen’s and at NASA.”

Everyone from the Queen’s and Kingston communities is welcome to attend. Doors open at 10:30 am in Grant Hall and seats will fill fast. Admission is free.

Learn more about Dr. Feustel’s journey to the ISS, from his time at Queen’s to the launch of his third mission to space, and the research he and his team will perform while on the ISS here.

You can find more information about the NASA Educational Downlink on the event page.