“Station, this is Houston, are you ready for the event?”

“Houston, this is Station, we are ready for the event.” – Commander Victor Glover

“Pittsburgh Steelers, this is Mission Control Houston, please call Station for a voice check.”

“Houston, this is Pittsburgh Steelers, we are ready for the event.” – Josh Dobbs

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If that’s not how your Friday morning started, with a welcome from NASA Mission Control Houston to the International Space Station and then to the Pittsburgh Steelers at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, then you missed out on a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs brought not just to Steelers fans, but people all over the world.

The three crew members, live from the ISS, tossed a football while sharing stories with Dobbs and taking questions from the students to promote the importance of STEM education.

“It’s a little harder than you think,” said Commander Glover of tossing the football around. “Not having gravity makes it a little tougher to throw a nice spiral at your intended target.”

While you get the feeling the group could have talked football for a long time, the call was about a lot more. It was sharing the importance of engineering and STEM education with students, many from the Pittsburgh area, but through the Facebook Live broadcast opened it up to a world-wide audience, with people checking in from Argentine, Australia, Cambodia, France, Kenya and the Philippines in the comments.

Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs will join NASA astronaut Commander Victor Glover via Zoom from the International Space Station (ISS) to answer questions from STEM students. The Earth-to-space call will air live at 9:50 a.m. EST Friday, January 15, on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance, and interest in STEM.

Dobbs, who graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in aerospace engineering, was selected by the Steelers in the fourth round (135th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent the 2019 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars before returning to the Steelers in 2020. Recipient of the 2017 Torchbearer Award, the highest honor for an undergraduate student at Tennessee, Dobbs has continued to put his degree to use throughout his NFL career, completing externship programs with at global aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and NASA in the offseason.

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Glover was selected as an astronaut in 2013 while serving as a Legislative Fellow in the United States Senate. He is currently serving as pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, which launched November 15, 2020. He is also serving as the Flight Engineer on the ISS for Expedition 64, becoming the first black astronaut to make an extended stay on the ISS.

“Through connections with NASA, we were able to formulate the opportunity to share my love and passion for engineering and football, and Commander Glover’s passion for engineering and his journey and story to the International Space Station with students and future engineers,” said Dobbs. “It’s a tremendous opportunity, and I am glad to be able to talk with and meet virtually Commander Glover.

Dobbs to join NASA Astronaut to answer STEM questions

“I know the kids will have a lot of questions. I will have as many questions as them for Commander Glover. It’s going to be a really good event, an informative event. Just to spread the love and awareness for STEM and the power in what an engineering degree can do to change the world.”

Fans can also watch the discussion on NASA’s Johnson Space Center Facebook page.

Join us for a discussion between Expedition 64 crew members and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and former NASA extern Joshua Dobbs.

Posted by NASA’s Johnson Space Center on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

WHO IS JOSH DOBBS

Robert Joshua Dobbs (born January 26, 1995) is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers, and was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Dobbs was born and raised in Alpharetta, Georgia, the son of Stephanie and Robert Dobbs. His mother retired from United Parcel Service (UPS) as a region manager in corporate human resources and his father is a senior vice president for Wells Fargo bank. Dobbs has alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease causing hair loss, which first developed when he was transitioning from elementary to junior high school.

Dobbs started playing competitive football when he was five years old. He attended Wesleyan School and then Alpharetta High School. As a senior with the Alpharetta Raiders football team, he threw for 3,625 yards with 29 touchdowns. Dobbs was a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a four-star by Scout.com. He originally committed to Arizona State University to play college football, but in February 2013, he changed his commitment to the University of Tennessee.

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Dobbs majored in aerospace engineering during his time at the University of Tennessee. The university presented him with the 2017 Torchbearer Award, the highest honor for an undergraduate student, which recognizes accomplishments in the community and academics. Dobbs was heralded as possessing a perfect 4.0 grade point average and being named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Dobbs received an invitation to the Senior Bowl and was named the starting quarterback for the South. He finished the game completing 12-of-15 pass attempts for 102 passing yards and an interception, as the South defeated the North 16–15. The majority of NFL draft experts and analysts projected him to be a fourth to fifth round pick. NFL analyst Mike Mayock projected him to be selected in the second round and NFL.com projected him to be drafted in the third round. After attending the NFL Scouting Combine, he was ranked the seventh best quarterback in the draft by ESPN, the ninth best quarterback by Sports Illustrated, and NFLDraftScout.com ranked him the eighth best quarterback in the draft.[56][57][58] He attended Tennessee’s Pro Day and scripted his own set of plays; 19 other teammates also participated in Tennessee’s Pro Day. He held workouts for six teams: the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints.[59][60][61][62]