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Science & Exploration

N° 35–1993: International Space University students to talk to shuttle astronauts in orbit

17 July 1993

Students attending the International Space University's (ISU) 1993 Summer session in Huntsville, Alabama, will have the opportunity to ask questions to the astronauts on board Space Shuttle Discovery (mission STS-51) on Monday July 19, 1993.

Out of the group of 15 students scheduled to talk to the astronauts, 10 come from European countries. Scholarships granted by ESA, national Space Agencies and industry allow them and other colleagues (20 in total), to attend the ten week long ISU Summer Session this year. One of the crew members on Space Shuttle Discovery, James H. Newman, is the first ISU graduate in space (ISU 1989).

The International Space University is a non-profit, educational institution specializing in international and multidisciplinary advanced space studies programs. The ISU 1993 Summer Session hosts more than 100 students from 30 nations. The International Space University - which will have its permanent home in Strasbourg, France as of 1995- has so far held courses in Boston (USA) in 1988, Strasbourg (France) in 1989, Toulouse (France) in 1990, Montreal (canada) in 1991 and Kitakyushu (Japan) in 1992.

Each year, ESA fosters a group of European students to attend the University courses. This year students will be exposed to over a dozen academic or research courses, including: Space Architecture, Space Business and Management, Space Engineering, Space Life Sciences, Space Policy and Law, Space Resources and Manufacturing, Satellite Applications, Space Physics, Space Humanities and Space Informatics.

The students scheduled for the 'space-talk' will gather at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and will be engaged in a real-time conversation with the STS- 51 crew as they orbit the Earth aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.

Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to be launched from Kennedy Space Center on Saturday 17 July at 09:22 hrs (KSC time), 15:20 hrs Paris time. In a mission which will last nine or ten days, the crew of five astronauts will deploy a NASA telecommunications satellite (ACTS, Advanced Communications Technology Satellite) and will then deploy and retrieve a German built scientific platform jointly developed under a co-operative endeavour between the German Space Agency DARA and NASA.

The German/US Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer-Shuttle Pallet Satellite (ORFEUS- SPAS) mission is the first in a series of missions designed to investigate the very hot and very cold matter in the universe, thus allowing to study the birth and the death of stars. Once deployed from the Shuttle by its Remote Manipulator System (on the second day of the mission), the ASTRO-SPAS satellite operates quasi- autonomously for several days in the Shuttle vicinity. The satellite is then retrieved by the RMS and returned to Earth at the end of the Shuttle mission.