KU engineering alum to give Q&A from International Space Station

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Update, 10:48 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29:

The time for this Q&A session has changed to 2:25 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9.

Original post (with time change reflected):

Loral O’Hara, a NASA astronaut and KU School of Engineering graduate, will soon hold a public question and answer session from her post on the International Space Station.

O’Hara graduated from KU with a degree in aerospace engineering in 2006 and was selected as part of the 2017 NASA astronaut class, according to a news release from KU.

She traveled to the space station in September and will return in mid-March, according to the release.

“According to NASA, the astronauts and cosmonauts are studying an array of microgravity phenomena to benefit humans living on and off the Earth,” according to KU’s release. “The crew is also exploring heart health, cancer treatments, space manufacturing techniques and more during their long duration stay in Earth orbit.”

Rick Hale, aerospace engineering department chair, taught O’Hara when she was a student at KU. He will moderate the roughly 25-minute Q&A session.

“Having a former student in such a high visibility position, when the odds of achieving such a position are so limited, is a tangible reinforcement to the professional development plans of current and future aerospace engineering students,” Hale said in the release.

The Q&A is set for 2:25 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9. The public is welcome to watch the livestream, which will be available at this link.

O’Hara is the fourth KU graduate to travel to space. She joins 1955 KU engineering graduates Joe Engle and Ron Evans, and 1973 physics and astronomy graduate Steve Hawley, according to the release.

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