Childhood Cancer Patients to Speak with NASA Astronaut on Space Station

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins wears the COURAGE spacesuit aboard the International Space Station.

Patients from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston will have the opportunity to speak with a NASA astronaut currently living and working on the International Space Station at 3:55 p.m. EDT on Friday, Sept. 16. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website

Kate Rubins Works on MD Anderson Cancer Center Spacesuit
Astronaut Kate Rubins, assists young artists at MD Anderson Cancer Center, as they discover the healing aspects of art, while taking a break from treatment in May 2016.
Credits: NASA

Expedition 49 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins, who has a degree in cancer biology, will answer questions from several patients turned artists. In the fall of 2015, MD Anderson Cancer Center partnered with NASA’s Johnson Space Center to design a hand-painted spacesuit decorated by patients recovering at the hospital to raise awareness about the benefits of pairing art with medicine. Rubins, retired astronaut Nicole Stott, and other NASA personnel have lent their artistic talents to this project and worked as mentors to the patients over the past year.

Three spacesuits, HOPE, COURAGE and UNITY, were created during the project. Spacesuit UNITY was created at cancer hospitals in Germany, Russia, and Japan with collaboration from astronauts from NASA’s international partners, ESA (European Space Agency), the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Rubins will wear the COURAGE suit during the conversation.