Osage Nation students chat with the first Indigenous woman in space on NASA's downlink from the ISS

Osage Nation students chat with the first Indigenous woman in space on NASA’s downlink from the ISS

The International Space Station astronaut provided an exciting glimpse of space for young Osage on November 23, 2022.

On Wednesday, Osage Nation students had the opportunity to ask NASA astronaut Nicole Mann questions about all things space.

Through a remote video link from the International Space Station in Pawhuska, Mann, a member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian tribes and the first Native American woman to go into space, answered questions ranging from how the space station is fed to if the astronauts grow tomatoes. Mann has been on an ISS mission since October 5.

She also explained how meteors can be monitored from space and announced an upcoming cargo ship that will provide scientific material for an experiment called Veggie 5. The program will allow astronauts to determine the best way to grow dwarf tomatoes in different growth environments in space. At the end, the astronauts will taste the tomatoes to decide which is best, she said in the video.

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“It’s important because when we go to Mars for a mission of two to three years, the freeze-dried food we have will lose its nutritional value during that time, so we’ll need to supplement with freshly grown fruits and vegetables.” Mann said.

Mann ended the session by demonstrating a weightless flip of the video.

The Osage Nation STEAM program – emphasizing science, technology, engineering, arts and math – allowed students to prepare for the event with space-related activities that included a launch rocket in the summer, says a news release from the Osage Nation.

“This event truly embodies what we’re trying to do here, and we appreciate NASA sharing our mission to educate and inspire Indigenous youth,” Mary Wildcat, Director of the Osage Nation Education Department, who worked with NASA team members to organize the event. , said in the statement.

Osage students from the Osage Nation community and Daposka Ahnkodapi Elementary School, an Osage language and culture immersion school in Pawhuska, participated in the event at the Osage County Fairgrounds.

Students will be able to remember this moment β€œfor the rest of their lives,” said Patrick Martin, Superintendent of Daposka Ahnkodapi, in the statement.

Featured video: First NASA mission led by a Native American woman in progress

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled its crew straight into the history books. Aboard the Dragon capsule, Mission Commander Nicole Mann went where no other Indigenous woman has gone before. “I’m very proud to represent Native Americans and my heritage. You know, it’s interesting. We all come from very unique and different backgrounds,” Mann said. Mann, born in California and a member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, is a Stanford-trained mechanical engineer and F-18 fighter pilot. This is her first trip to space, nearly a decade after she was chosen to join NASA’s astronaut class in 2013. “I am thrilled to be joining the NASA team and I look forward to the next two years of training,” Mann said. Despite tensions between the United States and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine, in space the countries are still cooperating. A Russian cosmonaut was aboard a SpaceX capsule for the first time. The four-person crew will spend the next five months conducting hundreds of experiments aboard the International Space Station. SEE MORE: Russia launches into space from US, 1st time in 20 years

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