Live Video Chat: One Giant Charge for a Robot

Sandeep Yayathi poses beside Robonaut 2Sandeep Yayathi works on Robonaut, a dexterous humanoid robot built and designed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. On April 4, 2012, from noon – 1 p.m. EDT, Yayathi will answer student questions about his work with Robonaut, his career path and what the future holds for robotics. Robonaut 2, or R2, launched to the International Space Station on space shuttle Discovery as part of the STS-133 mission. It is the first dexterous humanoid robot in space and the first U.S.-built robot at the space station.

Yayathi is developing a new power system including a battery backpack to allow Robonaut 2 to move about freely without having to be plugged into the space station’s power grid. Eventually, the new power system will allow an upgraded version of the robot to work outside the station.

Submit questions during the chat through a chat window, or email them to

Video Chat TODAY: Starry, Starry Night

Michelle ThallerToday, Dr. Michelle Thaller from Goddard Space Flight Center will answer student questions from 1 – 2 p.m. EDT. Dr. Thaller’s research interests are hot stars, colliding stellar winds, binary star evolution and evolved stellar companions. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your students ask Dr. Thaller about her research and the path that led her to NASA.

Video Chat: Sea Level Rise and Global Climate Change

Josh WillisGive your students the opportunity to ask questions of a NASA oceanographer and climate scientist. Dr. Josh Willis is an oceanographer and climate scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. He was the Deputy Project Scientist and a member of the science team on Jason 1 and 2. Willis is currently the Lead Project Scientist for the Jason 3 project.

To join the chat, go to the chat page up to 15 minutes prior to noon EST, where you will find instructions for logging into the chat room to ask questions.

Link to the chat page where you will find a list of resources to help you prepare your students for the chat:

Video Chat for Students: Robots Digging Up Martian Geology

Paulo YounseJoin NES for a video chat on Oct. 5, 2011 at noon EDT. Paulo Younse, a robotics engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will answer student questions about a career as a robotics engineer, robot technology, what scientists already have learned about the geology of Mars, and what they are hoping to learn from the soon-to-launch Mars rover named Curiosity.

NES Monthly Career Video Chat With Zareh Gorjian, NASA Computer Animator

If you are an up-and-coming artist, an avid game player or a programmer, and you are interested in a behind-the-scenes look at NASA’s computer graphics, join NASA Explorer Schools for a live chat with Zareh Gorjian on June 2, 2011, at 9 a.m. PDT.

Gorjian specializes in computer graphics. He implemented all of the Quick View wireframe and high-performance renderers for NASA’s Surveyor mission, as well as the interface used for displaying images. He worked on Surveyor full time until September 1993 and has continued to contribute on a part-time basis while working on other projects. He currently is involved in designing and implementing third-generation animation and rendering software for the Digital Image Animation Lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was most recently a part of the team that produced animations for the IMAX movie “Destiny in Space.”

Before working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Gorjian worked at a software development company where he was a part of the team that developed a piano teaching system for a computer gaming platform. He developed the graphics for an artificial intelligence system designed to help people learn to play the piano.
In addition to his academic and professional involvement with computer graphics, he engages in the artistic pursuit of the subject in his spare time. When Gorjian is not transforming polygons, he is transforming coins and other objects as a magician.