5th Grade ISS Mission Complete!

February 26, 2021: Houston, we did it!

Dear EPSD Community

Today is a very proud day for our school district. 11 of our 5th grade students successfully made contact with NASA Astronaut, Dr. Shannon Walker, aboard the International Space Station. Set up at the Estes Park Memorial Observatory this morning, our 5th grade anchors were all abuzz with energy and excitement.

All 5th grade students had the opportunity to apply to be an anchor to speak to the astronauts on the ISS. Our 5th grade team has spent the last year learning about Expedition 64 and working on assignments and projects throughout their curriculum celebrating the mission. The 11 student anchors who participated today were chosen based on their application submitted last November. Originally, our ISS contact was scheduled for October of 2020, but given the COVID-19 pandemic, we chose to postpone. Given that Estes Park was socked in between two of the biggest wildfires Colorado has ever seen this past October, that made today even more special and something to be thankful for.

Students from all grades PK-5 at Estes Park Elementary School submitted questions for the anchors to ask. After the contact was complete, most student anchors said they didn't remember what the answers to their questions were because they were so nervous! OVER.


We would like to thank our partners with ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) and the Estes Valley Amateur Radio Club (EVARC) who were also there today to help out with the big day. We appreciate your hard work, time and dedication in the many months leading up to this point, what an amazing gift to our students. OVER.

Mr. Loren Shriver

We thank our very own local retired astronaut, Loren Shriver, for his time spent and knowledge imparted to our classes and teachers during the many rehearsals and practices leading up to this day. Mr. Shriver has been involved with the school district for many years and always takes the time to inspire and educate our students and staff about his journey and travels. After today's contact, he remarked how proud he was of our students and how the success of this day goes to show how important practice really is. OVER.


This project wouldn't have been a success without the great team here at EPSD. We would like to give a huge thanks to our project leaders, Mrs. Ravi Davis and Mrs. Polly Greenblatt for leading this year long space exploration with our students and making this opportunity possible.

Thanks to our CIS Manager, Nick Gooch, for the creation of the live stream video prior to contact, enabling live streaming of the actual event, and assisting with the technical set up and recordings, and all of the necessary IT services along the way. In spite of challenges faced with a downed internet connection at the school district today, this team successfully completed their mission and created a memory that will last a lifetime. OVER.


We have the BEST students! Congrats to our 5th grade students for a job well done on such an important mission! You did it. Take a deep breath and enjoy watching the video (as many times as you like!) and know that you made an connection that was out of this world. OVER.
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THANK YOU to our Community Partners

We have a wonderful community! Thanks to...

...Ace Hardware who donated a plexiglass barrier to allow for safer distancing in the main control room for our HAM operators during the contact event.

...Poppy's Pizza and Grill for providing much needed sustenance (pizza) for the students after an exhausting morning! All of that excitement works up an appetite.

...The Estes Valley Community Center who generously opened their doors to our 5th grade classes to allow them to view the live stream of their peers because our internet was down.

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