Pioneer Hispanic Astronaut Conducts Live In-Flight, In-Space Video Downlink with Virginia Students

Pioneer NASA astronaut Joe Acaba conducts live in-flight, in-space video chat with students at the Science Museum of Virginia on July 5th. (Photo: David Watson)

Richmond, VA – July 5th, 2012 – NASA, in collaboration with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Science Museum of Virginia,  Univision, and the National Institute of Aerospace, today provided a rare opportunity for students in Virginia: to speak through live video downlink with one of the first Hispanic astronauts in history, while he was in space.

Using NASA technology, the astronaut Joe Acaba (the first Puerto Rican in space) answered questions prepared by the students attending the event at the IMAX Dome of the Science Museum of Virginia, to offer the students a perspective into his daily life as an astronaut in space. Acaba also inspired the students to achieve their dreams, as a living example of the exciting professional opportunities available in the fields of science and technology.

Hispanic students in Virginia asked questions about living and working in space to NASA astronaut Joe Acaba while he was on board the International Space Station (ISS). (Photo: David Watson)

The event was part of the “Passport to Education” program of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a non-profit organization which offers  resources and information to the Hispanic community, so they may be well-informed to successfully integrate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The “Passport to Education” program focuses on young Hispanic students and their families, to help them access resources for higher education or secondary education in Virginia.

“We are very proud to collaborate with NASA for the second time with the “Passport the Education” initiative,” said Lisa Zajur, coordinator of the “Passport to Education” program’s partnership with NASA. “This event has provided the students with something very valuable: a role model that the students can relate to, and an example of what hard work and believing in your dreams can accomplish. We hope to inspire these students to continue on the path to higher education”. For more information on the “Passport to Education” program and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, visit VAHCC.com or call 804-378-4099.

Univision filmed the question-and-answer segment of today’s event for national coverage later this summer. The event was also broadcast on NASA’s official web site, nasa.gov.

About The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The VAHCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to cross-cultural commerce and economic development.

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