Kilmer Hosts Virtual Student Town Hall with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Astronaut Michael Barratt

NASA Astronaut and NASA Administrator Join Rep. Kilmer and Students from Washington’s Sixth Congressional District to Talk STEM Education and the Next NASA Missions to the Moon

Tacoma, WA – On Tuesday, August 11, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) hosted a virtual student Town Hall and Q&A session with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut Dr. Michael Barratt and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to discuss NASA’s Artemis program which aims to land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024  – and answer questions from student’s across the region about how an education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can help ensure today’s students can be successful and innovative in the workforce.

“Throughout its history, NASA has made numerous critical and exciting discoveries, and has improved our access to space. Their missions inspire our youngest generation to pursue education in the crucial fields of science and technology,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I was thrilled to be able to provide an opportunity for students across our region to hear firsthand from a NASA astronaut, and hopefully to inspire more kids to pursue STEM education. That can help lead to more job opportunities for them in the future, more qualified employees for local employers, and more economic resiliency for our communities.”

“Encouraging young people to pursue STEM careers will help propel the NASA workforce of the future and enable us to achieve more stunning feats,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We must foster a new generation of talent that will help lead us into a new era of space exploration – the Artemis Generation. The Artemis program, which will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, will be a generational achievement that we as Americans can all be proud of, and I look forward to Washington STEM students playing a role in NASA’s future.”

Rep. Kilmer is a co-chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Planetary Science Caucus in Congress, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of federal investment in space science, technology, exploration, and STEM education, to grow jobs and boost the nation's economy.

The full recorded town hall can be viewed here.

About NASA Astronaut Dr. Michael Barratt:

Dr. Michael R. Barratt was selected by NASA in 2000. Board certified in Internal and Aerospace Medicine, he has participated in two spaceflights. In 2009, Dr. Barratt served as Flight Engineer for Expedition 19/20. This marked the transition from three to six permanent International Space Station crew members. During this time, he performed two spacewalks. He also flew on STS-133, which delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module and fourth Express Logistics Carrier. Currently, Dr. Barratt serves in the International Space Station Operations and Integration branches to handle medical issues and on orbit support.

He considers Camas, Washington to be his hometown, and earned his Bachelor of Science at the University of Washington.

To learn more about NASA STEM Engagement:


To learn more about NASA’s Artemis Program visit: