Students make contact with astronaut in space


GREEN BANK, W.Va (WDTV) – A group of students from Green Bank Elementary-Middle School got the chance to talk to an astronaut while he was in space.

Dylan, a student at the school calls on the astronaut and says, “November 8, Romeo, Victor for scheduled school contact.”

After a little static, the man chimes in, “November 8, Romeo, Victor,” Astronaut Mark Vande Hei makes contact.

“You could feel the excitement when the contact was actually made,” said Principal Julie Shiflet.

Students asked the astronaut a variety of questions, “how do you get news from earth,” a student asks.

The call lasted for about 10 minutes.

Principal Julie Shiflet says the school was chosen through a competitive application process by amateur radio on the international space station.

“We found out last spring after we that we had been released for covid that we had been awarded the opportunity.”

From meeting social distancing requirements to reviewing questions…

“…it was a lot a lot of work put into make this happen for the students,” continued the principal.

Shiflet says this project was a good way to encourage students to pursue careers in stem.

“We definitely want to incorporate as much stem as possible to challenge their minds and peak that interest,” said Shiflet.

Support was given by the Snowshoe Foundation, The Durbin Lions Club, the Eight Rivers Amateur Radio Club, and several staff from the Green Bank Observatory.

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