On August 2, 2022, an eight-year-old girl from Kent, England, used her father’s amateur radio station, M0LMK, to communicate with the radio station aboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, commander of NASA SpaceX Crew-4, who launched on April 27 for a six-month mission, responded to Isabella Payne’s call.
The ISS has an amateur radio station on board that astronauts use to communicate with schools while in orbit. Occasionally, they “call out” to any amateur radio operators on Earth during their downtime.
A Conversation with a Real Astronaut
After contacting the ISS radio station by name and repeating her station’s call sign, she introduced herself.
My name’s Isabella. I’m eight years old, it’s so great to chat with you. Thank you for getting on the radio and saying hello,Isabella Payne
According to CNN, Isabella had just fallen asleep on Aug. 2 when her father, Matthew, woke her up and led her to the amateur radio station, where she was given a microphone.
I was like, ‘Why are you doing this to me? I need my beauty sleep.’Isabella Payne
Matthew Payne has been a licensed amateur radio operator for 22 years. He’d discovered that ISS crew members make short, unscheduled calls to amateur radio stations on Earth during their breaks.
You have to get the right time when the space station is passing overhead, and it has to be the right time of day when the astronaut is using the equipment They’re only in the sky above us for 10 to 15 minutes and we want as many people as possible down here to have that kind of experience,I heard through the communities that I’m part of that he (Lindgren) was using the radio, so we listened for a couple of weeks and one evening I heard him call.Matthew Payne, NASA Amateur Radio Operator
Source: Yahoo! Sports)
The Most Favorite Contact of All
Lindgren stated on Twitter that he has spoken with amateur radio operators from all over the world.
This may be my favorite contact so far. Once he found out I was 8, his voice instantly turned from normal to joyful, you could hear his smile. I was elated when I heard his voice. I thought it was a dream.Kjell Lindgren, NASA Astronaut
Isabella’s father tweeted Kjell Lingren:
Thank you so much, you have changed her worldMatthew Payne, Isabella Payne’s Father
According to CNN, both Paynes enjoy radio and space exploration. Since she was a toddler, Matthew Payne’s daughter has sat on his knee to watch all the launches, all the space station events, all the spacewalks with him. Isabella aspires to work for NASA one day.
I want to talk to the astronauts and say, for example: ‘Good morning, Sam. Is everything still floating around up there like it’s supposed to?’Isabella Payne
Isabella has spoken with media organizations and even had email correspondence with NASA since her unforgettable evening earlier this month, all of which is good preparation for her long-term goal of becoming a communication specialist for the space agency. (Source: Yahoo! Sports)
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