Schoolgirl got in touch with the ISS astronaut on amateur radio

When 8-year-old Isabella Payne returns to elementary school in September, she will have the best story about how she spent the summer holidays. Isabella from Kent County in the south-east of England was able to get in touch with American astronaut Kjell Lindgren as part of the Crew-4 expedition aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with the help of her father’s amateur radio station. 

Isabella Payne spoke with ISS astronaut Kjell Lindgren. Photo: CNN

The first communication session took place on August 2, just before Isabella went to bed. The father pulled the girl out of bed and quickly brought her to the radio, and then asked her to say a few words into the microphone. From her father’s knees, she told the astronaut her name and age, and this was the beginning of Isabella’s communication with space.

“I was thrilled when I heard his voice. I even heard him smile when I was talking to him,” Isabella said in an interview with CNN.

After their conversation, Lindgren talked about the radio session with the schoolgirl on his Twitter page. The astronaut said that his conversation with Isabella is his “most favorite contact at the moment”.

Amateur radio on board the ISS

Isabella’s father, 42-year-old Matthew Payne, explained that he has been engaged in legal amateur radio for 22 years and has a license for it. Both father and daughter are fans of space and radio. According to Payne, Isabella has been sitting on his knees since childhood, listening to conversations, and also following all the events on the space station. According to the man, conversations with other participants of amateur radio communication, including astronauts, are often short, where their call sign is reported, the quality of communication from both sides is noted, gratitude and a quick farewell are expressed.

Isabella and Matthew Payne share a passion for space and radio. Photo: CNN

It is worth noting that there is an amateur radio station on board the ISS, which is used by astronauts to establish communication with educational institutions during their stay in orbit. Sometimes, during their free time, astronauts look for any radio amateurs on Earth to talk to.

Earlier we reported on how Samantha Cristoforetti gave advice to future astronauts.

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