Students, teachers, and ham radio enthusiasts gathered at Antietam Elementary School in Lake Ridge to hear from an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS).
The school’s amateur radio club, Ham-tietam, made the event happen.
The ISS flies 250 miles above the Earth, moving along its orbit and collecting information.
650 Antietam students gathered in the school’s gym to hear from NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, and 15 students were able to ask him questions about his experiences.
The questions ranged from ‘Do you ever get tired of the food’ to ‘How long did it take to build the ISS’.
Gifted Resource Teacher Kathy Lamont said that the school went through a year-long process to make the call happen, duplicating systems and attaching antennas to the school roof to make sure the connection worked smoothly.
According to Lamont, the event was part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.
“The experience was absolutely amazing and the kids really appreciated it too, which is why we do all of these things in the first place,” said Lamont.
For the students, it was an exciting experience.
“I thought it was a really cool experience to be able to talk to the ISS astronauts – it’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing,” said Dominic LiVecche, an Antietam fifth grader.