Byers invited to view launch at Kennedy Space Center
Excitement over Dec. 20 launch aligns with Byers' mission at SOE
The VCU School of Education’s Al S. Byers, Ph.D., visiting scholar for STEM education, has been selected to attend the launch of the Boeing Orbital Flight Test at Kennedy Space Center on December 20. He is also approved for social media credentials during the two-day event.
During the event, Byers will also have the opportunity to:
- Tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center
- Meet and interact with subject matter experts
- Meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media
- Meet members of NASA’s social media team
On launch day, Boeing’s new passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, will sit atop an Atlas V rocket and take off without any crew members for a scheduled docking with the International Space Station. If the test mission is successful, it could pave the way for NASA astronauts to fly on the Starliner next year.
Boeing developed the Starliner for NASA as part of the space agency’s Commercial Crew program, an initiative to once again fly astronauts on U.S.-made vehicles. Since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA astronauts have ridden on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to the space station, which costs NASA $85 million per seat.
Byers said that his excitement about the launch is closely aligned with his mission at SOE.
“NASA seeks to inspire all students in the fields of STEM, which is the same mission I’ve been charged with at the VCU School of Education. My desire is to leverage all of VCU’s unique resources, labs and expertise to bring high impact learning experiences for students in our highest need school districts in the Richmond region,” said Byers.
“My ultimate goal is to spark students’ curiosity and passion for STEM, and increase support for underrepresented and underserved populations in K12 STEM education.”
Byers will be active on social media prior to and during the two-day event. Watch for his posts on the accounts below. The launch will stream live on NASA Live beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST on Dec. 20. Liftoff is targeted at 6:36 a.m.
Twitter: @vcusoe, @alsbyers
Instagram: vcu_soed, alsbyers
Facebook: vcusoe, al.byers.3