Students from Virginia call International Space Station

HAMPTON, Va. – Students from Virginia joined Virginia First Lady Pamala Northam for a call to space.

Students from Virginia, along with Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia called an astronaut in space from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton around 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

The 800 students communicated with astronaut Alex Gerst, who is currently serving on board the International Space Station for the European Space Agency (ESA).

First Lady Northam served as the host and student groups at the event included the Boys and Girls Club, the 21st Century Community Learning Center and From One Hand To Another, a Not for Profit Organization established by Pharrell Williams to provide educational tools needed for the future success of children.

Officials said students were able to ask questions about anything they wanted to know about life aboard the space station, NASA’s mission and upcoming science investigations.

Astronauts living in space on the orbiting laboratory communicate with NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston 24 hours a day through the Space Network’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).

Langley’s event is the second of three downlink events that happened on Tuesday as part of NASA’s Year of Education on Station.