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    NPS Live Teleconference With Astronaut/NPS Alum Aboard ISS

    Astronaut Jeff Williams

    On Monday, February 22, 2010, the Naval Postgraduate School participated in a live teleconference with astronaut Jeff Williams and the Expedition 22 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

    Dr. John Phillips, astronaut and NPS' NASA Captain Michael Smith / Commander William McCool Chair Professor in the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, organized the ISS video conference for students enrolled in NPS' Space Systems Academic Group curriculums. Students and faculty interacted with the ISS crew through a series of questions and answers over the course of 30 minutes.

    Space Shuttle mission STS-130, “Endeavour”, just undocked from the ISS last Friday after installing the “Tranquility” node and the “Cupola”, opening a new “picture window” on the world. During the entire video conference, Williams ‘stood’ in front of the new cupola as the ISS passed over the equator during sunrise heading toward Patagonia.

    The ISS is the largest artificial satellite orbiting the Earth, traveling at an average speed of 17,227 miles per hour and completing 15.7 orbits of the Earth every day. Serving primarily as a research laboratory, its microgravity environment allows crews to conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy and meteorology, and test spacecraft systems required for future missions to the Moon and Mars.

    Jeff Williams, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), is just one of 38 NPS NASA astronaut alumni, earning his graduate degree in aeronautical engineering 1987. His current six month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station launched aboard Soyuz-TMA-16 on September 30, 2009, docking with the station on October 2, 2009 and is scheduled to return to Earth in March 2010.