Expedition 69 Astronauts Tour NASA Goddard, Speak With Employees

A trio of astronauts visited with employees at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on March 18, 2024, to share their spaceflight experiences aboard the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, and United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi all served as flight engineers on the Expedition 69 crew aboard the International Space Station last year.

Over 40 employees at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., participated in a meet and greet with visiting astronauts on March 18, 2024. NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg (left), United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen presented a video summarizing their mission before answering questions from Goddard staff.
NASA/Tabatha Luskey

The astronauts engaged with over 40 center employees during a meet and greet at the beginning of their visit. Employees viewed a 20-minute video that highlighted the astronauts’ preparation for the mission and their time in space. Afterward, they answered questions about daily life aboard the International Space Station.

“These are people that you see growing up, and you hear about them, but to actually be in person with them is beyond words,” said Emily Wilson, an intern at Goddard. “It’s really awesome to hear their stories.”

During their time in space, the Expedition 69 crew studied how materials burn in microgravity to understand spacecraft fire hazards, and they worked with technology to monitor how spaceflight stressors like microgravity and radiation impact the immune system. Bowen, Hoburg, and Alneyadi also completed spacewalks during the mission.

Hoburg (left), Alneyadi, and Bowen view the construction of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope from the clean room overlook in Goddard’s Building 29.
NASA/Tabatha Luskey

After their presentation to employees, the astronauts toured Goddard and heard from researchers about the exciting science and missions in work at the center. They listened to a presentation from Dr. Antti Pulkkinen, director of Goddard’s Heliophysics Science Division, and they visited the clean room where engineers are building the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. Their time at Goddard concluded at the Hubble Space Telescope Operations Control Center.

“The long history is really amazing, of all the contributions Goddard has made,” Hoburg said. “We’re truly going after those big fundamental questions about the origins of the universe, and all the kind of inspiring big scientific questions that drive us as humans, and it’s cool to see the contribution Goddard makes to all those big questions.”

Learn more about NASA’s Expedition 69 at: https://www.nasa.gov/mission/expedition-69/

By Julia Tilton
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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Last Updated
Mar 19, 2024
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Rob Garner
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