Axiom crew chats with local students

Published 11:46 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

News Release

On Feb. 24, a group of students from Middlesboro Middle and High Schools had an opportunity to be a part of history.

As a part of his partnership with Middlesboro schools, John Shoffner joined students on a video call to discuss his upcoming mission to the International Space Station. Shoffner will be piloting the SpaceX Dragon on the Axiom Ax-2 mission in early May. Joining Shoffner on the call was former commander of the International Space Station, Dr. Peggy Whitson, commander for the upcoming Axiom mission. Whitson has spent more days in space than any other American astronaut.

From Axiom mission control, Shoffner and Whitson shared with students the details of their upcoming mission and gave them a peek into how they have trained and prepared for their time in space.

Students had the opportunity to ask the astronauts questions ranging from the nature of the research activities they will be take part in while aboard the space station to how the team will prepare themselves mentally for the journey.

Shoffner and Whitson also gave the students advice as to what they can be doing now as middle and high school students to better position themselves for similar success in the future.

Other engagements are planned between the schools and Shoffner during his time aboard the ISS, including a live two-way video call. Those details will be announced as the launch approaches.