Kids Connect to Astronauts Floating in Space
Posted at: 09/07/2013 1:44 PM
| Updated at: 09/07/2013 10:46 PM
By: Travis Dill
Over a dozen kids spent all summer preparing to make radio contact with the International Space Station. An astronaut's voice broke the static Saturday at the Duluth Children's Museum.
It was standing room only as the Duluth's Children's Museum turned into a command center early Saturday morning. The 15 children that took part in the training got a chance to talk to a commander aboard the International Space Station (ISS), which was 250 miles overhead.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but Jenna Meyer said she worried about making the initial contact.
“Yeah I was really nervous at first because I was nervous it wouldn't really work for us. They were pretty nervous about that too, and we had static for awhile so I was nervous about that,” Meyer said.
After a few tense minutes of static a group of amateur radio enthusiasts helped dial in the ISS. Hearing the commander's voice cut the static lit up the children's faces.
“It felt really good because I was like, 'Yes, it worked and this is finally here.' I've been waiting for it for a long time now,” Meyer said.
The kids prepared all summer to ask questions about life aboard the ISS. They covered everything from medical emergencies to the comforts to be found in space.
One child asked, “Do you sleep better in space or on Earth?” The astronaut replied, “Well, I happen to sleep better on Earth.”
Leaders at the Duluth Children's Museum said the fantastic event would have been impossible without the help from members of the American Radio Relay League.
“They were the ones that came in with the expertise. They were the ones that were gracious enough to share that expertise. They're also the ones that obviously hooked on and made the contact,” Education Outreach Director Jeff Maas said.
He said events like this spur children to learn more about the science involved and show the applications of the knowledge.
The mission was a success and all the children joined together to relay a sign off code to the astronauts.
The space station was over the West Coast when the kids first made contact, but just 10 minutes later it was out of range over the Eastern Seaboard.