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Making contact with the ISS

Angie Frederickson
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Third grader Jonah (pictured) was one of 10 St. Stephen’s Episcopal School students selected to speak with NASA astronaut Bob Hines aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbited above Houston on Oct. 3. 

Third grader Jonah (pictured) was one of 10 St. Stephen’s Episcopal School students selected to speak with NASA astronaut Bob Hines aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbited above Houston on Oct. 3. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was coordinated by Charlie Larrabee, lab guru, St. Stephen’s da Vinci Lab for Creative Arts & Sciences, and Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), a program that provides STEM educational opportunities. Through direct radio contact, Jonah asked, “Have you encountered a micrometeorite? Over.” Astronaut Hines then responded, “Hey, that’s a good question. We probably have taken, the space station has probably had some micrometeorite strikes, but we don’t feel them inside because we’re very well protected inside the shell that we live in. So thankfully, we haven’t had anything that’s really damaged it. Over.” Making contact with the ISS was the perfect ending to months of preparation, including working with the ARISS program to build a special antenna to facilitate communication.

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