Boeing to Host Downlink with International Space Station Crew
ISS astronauts Drew Feustel and Scott Tingle will take questions from Genes In Space students
Facebook Live show to feature research specialists

HOUSTON, May 4, 2018 – Boeing [NYSE:BA] will host a televised downlink with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on May 10 featuring the Genes in Space STEM competition and students who are participating in the research contest. The event will originate from the nonprofit Space Center Houston in Texas and be shown on Facebook Live through NASA’s Johnson Space Center Education Office.

The full program will begin at 10:30 a.m. Central time on Facebook Live, at NASA TV will join the downlink from 11:05 to 11:25 a.m. The program will conclude at 11:30 a.m. with a demonstration of Boeing’s Starliner virtual reality training system.

The astronauts aboard the ISS will take questions from the two Genes In Space students whose experiments recently were conducted aboard the station, plus other contestants and from the audience. About 200 students from Houston-area middle and high schools will attend the event.

Guests will include the chief scientist for the ISS, a biologist, a leader of Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, and a Boeing Starliner engineer.

Founded by Boeing and miniPCR, the Genes In Space competition offers students in grades 7 through 12 the opportunity to develop DNA-based experiments that could be performed on orbit by astronauts aboard the ISS. A panel of scientists evaluates the proposals to select the finalists and then a winner.

Those taking part in the May 10 program are:

  • Drew Feustel, NASA astronaut, International Space Station Expedition 55
  • Scott Tingle, NASA astronaut, International Space Station Expedition 55
  • Julie Robinson, NASA chief scientist for the International Space Station
  • Zeke Alvarez-Saavedra, co-founder, miniPCR
  • Ken Shields, director of Operations, CASIS
  • Tony Castilleja, Boeing Starliner
  • Steven Siceloff, Boeing Communications (Host)

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About miniPCR: miniPCR was founded in 2013 by Ezequiel “Zeke” Alvarez Saavedra and Sebastian Kraves, graduates of MIT and Harvard respectively, who sought to make access to DNA analysis more accessible. miniPCR’s portable, inexpensive device can replicate specific sections of DNA, in a process called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. Scientists and doctors use miniPCR each day to accelerate research, diagnose Ebola and other infectious diseases, assess food safety, and to teach essential biotechnology in schools. The Harvard-based team is constantly working to further expand access to hands-on biology. The company worked with Boeing to co-create the Genes in Space student competition in order to instill the love of science and engineering in the next generation.

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Editors’ Note: Media wishing to cover this event should call or email Steven Siceloff no later than May 9 with the following information on their representative(s) who will attend the event:

  • Name
  • Affiliation
  • Title
  • Citizenship - U.S. Citizen (Yes or No)
  • Mailing and email addresses
  • Contact telephone number

Media representatives covering must present affiliation credentials.


Steven Siceloff
Defense, Space & Security
Office: 281-226-4672
Mobile: 281-253-8089