UW News

February 17, 2023

Video: Lummi Nation School students visit UW to talk to International Space Station astronaut

UW News

Students from the Lummi Nation School visited the University of Washington in early February for a real-time conversation with astronaut Josh Cassada aboard the International Space Station (ISS). As part of a science project on the plant Devil’s club — a Pacific Northwest species that is significant in Lummi culture — seeds were sent to the ISS in late 2022. Cassada was the astronaut who worked on the plant experiment and germinated Devil’s club seeds to compare them to a similar plant of the same species on Earth

The Lummi Nation School students as well as students from the UW had a rare opportunity for a live Q&A with Cassada (with a few seconds’ delay) about his life and current job on the ISS. The conversation was possible because of a “downlink,” which allows participants on Earth to see video and hear audio from the astronaut in space. 

The event included presentations by UW students, professors Emily Levesque (astronomy) and Gregg Colburn (real estate) as well as a panel with former Seattle astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger. It was hosted by the UW and the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, a group whose mission is to enhance higher education opportunities for students seeking to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

More details about the event are here. You can watch a recording of the downlink Q&A here.

See related coverage on KIRO7 and Q13 Fox.