The sky's the limit when students from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will speak with NASA astronaut and graduate Scott Tingle, who is living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. The 20 minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The students from the university and area K-12 school districts will make the call to Expedition 55 flight engineer Tingle aboard the space station, posing questions about life aboard the space station, NASA’s deep space exploration plans, and science in space.

Tingle graduated from Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass Dartmouth) with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1987. The conversation will provide students from UMass Dartmouth and area K-12 school districts an opportunity to discuss with a graduate how to apply their degrees.

A #UMassDinSpace panel of faculty will kick-off the live downlink event  at 7 p.m. tonight in the Claire T. Carney Library Living Room. It is open to all 8,500 university students, area K-12 school districts, regional community members and UMass Dartmouth alumni.

To learn more about both events and register, please visit UMass Dartmouth’s dedicated Scott Tingle site.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, which provides extensive space station-related resources and opportunities to students and educators. Astronauts living on the orbiting laboratory are able to participate in these educational calls, and communicate 24 hours a day with the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, through the agency Space Network’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites.