Calgary students receive call from astronaut aboard the International Space Station
Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:15PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:32PM MDT
A group of elementary students from North Point School for Boys had a memorable long-distance conversation with an orbiting Canadian astronaut on Wednesday.
Using a high-tech radio signal and satellite coordinates, the class was able to speak with David Saint-Jacques onboard the International Space Station.
“Every teacher that has ever taught me anything contributed to my training as an astronaut,” Saint-Jacques told the students.
The roughly eight minute question-and-answer session was arranged by a radio group that coordinates communication with the ISS crew and Roots 2 STEM, an engineering academy that emphasizes mathematics and science.
“I just learned it’s possible to speak to a guy on the space station when you’re on earth through an amateur radio station,” said Cayden Appel, one of the students.
Appel said he was terrified when he first approached the microphone to ask Saint-Jacques a question about the effects of zero gravity but, afterwards, he couldn’t wait to tell his parents that ‘I spoke to an astronaut and it went well’.
Dean White, the founder of Roots 2 STEM, says the chance for the students to speak with Saint-Jacques will not soon be forgotten.
“Experience is the keyword there,” said White. “This is what North Point is all about, experience of learning. Any time they can learn something about space or some other project or activity hands-on, it’s amazing. They learn a lot more.”
The North Point School for Boys is one of 20 schools nationwide that are scheduled to converse with a Canadian astronaut in orbit.
Saint-Jacques was launched into space in December and is expected to return to earth in June.
With files from CTV’s Stephanie Wiebe