Stratford Academy students made their own history today by hosting chat with an orbiting astronaut 250 miles above them.
The students held a Q&A with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is on the International Space Station. It was all part of a project through amateur radio to connect the ISS to schools.
The event was only possible during a 9-minute window from 8:47 a.m. to 8:58 a.m., when the ISS was flying over the radio center in Santa Rosa, California. During that time, kids squeezed in questions on everything from what astronauts do for fun in orbit to how they tell the difference between night and day.
Since the radio project is experimental, there was no guarantee of a connection. Although the astronauts could hear their questions, the responses coming in were staticky and hard to follow.
"It's still really cool that we actually got to hear his voice and know that he's actually listening to us speak," says junior Maggie Bergmark.
They say it's still a moment they'll never forget.
"Our intent was to inspire the students to have a love of science and technology," says teacher Sara Walcott, who set up the program after attending teacher space camp in Huntsville. "Even if you're only hearing static, it's pretty amazing when it's space static."
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