The U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS underscored its commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math STEM education. On March 12, Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Yolonda Kerney was on location at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida to witness the launch of NASA’s groundbreaking MMS launch. While there, she interacted with engineers and scientists who worked for years on this project and provided live coverage to the Embassy’s followers on social media sites, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.
The U.S. Embassy also hosted an exclusive viewing party of the MMS launch in partnership with the Barbados Astronomical Society (BAS) at the Harry Bayley Observatory. PAO Kerney called in from Florida and gave an exciting account of the atmosphere at Kennedy and the preparations which were underway for launch.
In her remarks, Deputy Public Affairs Officer Krystle Norman underscored the Embassy’s commitment to supporting STEM education in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, particularly through speaker programs, workshops, college fairs, and partnerships with organizations such as BAS. She also explained that this event was a follow-up initiative to famed American astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s visit to Barbados, where he gave a free public lecture on the importance of STEM education.
The President of BAS Ricardo Small gave guests an overview of the MMS and the positive implications for advancing our understanding of space. Guests also witnessed the exciting countdown and live launch of the MMS via NASA TV and also saw videos produced by the U.S. Embassy and NASA. The Atlas V rocket carried four MMS spacecraft on a mission to study magnetic reconnection in the Earth’s magnetosphere.