EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (July 8, 2020) — Recipients of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Ray Aviation Scholarships, which supply complete funding for flight training, will have a unique opportunity on July 14 as they will ask questions of the crew aboard the International Space Station.
Up to 20 of the scholarship recipients will be able to submit questions via video to astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who will answer them in a live session on NASA TV and the NASA website. The live broadcast is currently scheduled at approximately 12:10 p.m. Central Time on July 14. Behnken and Hurley made history in May when they became the first astronauts to fly to the International Space Station aboard the Space X Crew Dragon reusable spacecraft, developed privately in conjunction with NASA for operational, long-duration missions to the space station.
“When this opportunity with NASA became available, we immediately thought of inviting the young people who have already distinguished themselves as EAA Young Eagles, as Ray Aviation Scholarship recipients, and as those striving to become the next generation of aviators,” said David Leiting of EAA’s chapter office, who is coordinating the EAA-NASA session. “These scholarship recipients have shown the ambition and motivation to achieve, so we appreciate NASA’s invitation to connect them with those who are exploring the possibilities beyond our own planet.”
The Ray Foundation initially provided $1 million to EAA to fund Ray Aviation Scholarships for up to 100 young people during 2019. The program is managed by EAA and administered through its chapter network. EAA chapters are responsible for identifying youths for the Ray Aviation Scholarship program and mentoring them through flight training. Since the program’s inception in 2019, nearly 200 scholarships have been awarded. Of that group of recipients, 50 scholars have earned their pilot certificate and an additional 78 have completed their first solo flight.
The scholarship fund expanded to $1.2 million for candidates selected in 2020, giving more young people the opportunity to achieve their dreams of flight. More information on the Ray Aviation Scholarship program is available at EAA.org/RayScholars.