Using her father’s ham radio, an 8-year-old girl from the UK communicated with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). With the aid of her father Matt, an enthusiastic amateur radio operator from Kent, England, Isabella Payne was able to place a brief contact to the ISS.
On August 2, late in the evening, the couple made an attempt to make contact with the ISS’s amateur radio station NA1SS. They were able to communicate with Kjell Lindgren, commander of NASA SpaceX Crew-4, who launched to the ISS in April, thanks to a lucky break and some technical know-how.
After exchanging some technical information required for radio connection, Lindgren greeted the caller with “Welcome to the International Space Station.”
I’m eight years old, and my name is Isabella,” Isabella stated.
Lindgren responded, “Isabella, it’s lovely to talk to you, and I appreciate you coming on the radio and saying hi.
“I’m grateful. Fly carefully, Isabella said.
Little more than 30 seconds were spent talking, but Matt and Lindgren were able to reconnect on Twitter later that day (below).
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) project, which includes the radio on the ISS, aims to encourage people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through amateur radio transmissions.
Numerous times a year, the ISS crew utilizes the radio to hold Q&A sessions with schoolchildren. In theory, anyone with the right equipment can interact with the astronauts. Isabella, though, was quite fortunate to seize this chance.
“Speaking with an astronaut outside of a prearranged educational encounter is pretty uncommon. For it to occur, a number of variables must line up, according to Matt, who spoke with IFLScience.
“The ISS must be passing within LOS (Line Of Sight)… during a moment that falls during an astronaut’s “down time,” that is, when they are not engaged on a mission that is officially planned for them to do. There must be an astronaut actively using Amateur Radio gear to establish impromptu encounters, he said.
While Isabella has inherited her father’s love of radio and wants to work as a communication specialist at a space agency when she is older, she has no desire to become an astronaut. After all, it appears that she already has a talent for it.
“Kjell’s response to Isabella’s call astounded her. If you can imagine, Kjell must be forced to choose one person from among hundreds of others chanting their names on a vast stage. It was amazing and really special, in Isabella’s words,” Matt continued.