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Citadel News Service
22 Aug 2017

Astronaut alumnus to talk from space with local students live on NASA TV

UPDATE: Event will now be held Oct. 2 from 11:30-11:50a.m. (rescheduled due to hurricane Irma)

Some Lowcountry middle school students will have the opportunity to speak with NASA astronaut Col. Randy Bresnik from space as he orbits the earth from the International Space Station (ISS) on Oct. 2. Laing Middle School is hosting the event with the help of Citadel cadets and The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence. Cadets will lead the younger students as they Expedition 53 the citadel pose questions to The Citadel astronaut alumnus. The live conversation with Bresnik will occur sometime between 11:30 - 11:50 a.m. (EDT) for a 20-minute window.

“Though the event is being held at Laing Middle School, numerous other Charleston County School District classes will also be watching along with others on The Citadel campus. Because the live downlink will also be shown on the NASA TV website, STEM teachers in the Lowcountry, across the state, and around the country should consider using this exciting STEM-in-action exchange as a teaching tool for their classes,” said Professor Jennifer Albert, Ph.D., director of The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence.

The cadets will lead a two-part event for the eighth grade students, visiting the class first to teach them about Bresnik, the space station, how the live downlink works, and conduct an in-class lesson related to the space station. They’ll return on Sept. 8 to lead the conversation with Bresnik, guiding the participating students as they ask questions that are expected to revolve around experiments with which Bresnik is assisting, as well as space fitness.

Col. Randy Bresnik NASA astronaut the citadel

A Marine Corps veteran and member of The Citadel Class of 1989, Bresnik is one of the college’s most visible principled leaders. In May of 2004, Bresnik was selected out of approximately 4,000 applicants to become one of the 11 members of NASA’s Astronaut Class 9, becoming the first graduate of The Citadel to have the opportunity to fly in space. Expedition 52/53 is Bresnik’s second mission to the ISS, the first being in 2009. He will transition to become commander of Expedition 53 during an ISS ceremony on September 1 that will be shown on NASA TV. Bresnik is expected to return to Earth in December.

The Citadel will livestream the event on its Facebook page here. After the event, a link to the recorded exchange between the students and Bresnik will be available for teachers to use upon request by contacting Jennifer Albert at


Media is invited to cover the NASA live downlink event onsite at Laing Middle School which is located at 2705 Bulrush Basket Lane in Mt. Pleasant. Advanced notice is requested by emailing 

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