With Help From RIT, Henrietta Schoolchildren Chat With an Astronaut

University News Web site offers a podcast of a conversation with the International Space Station

A. Sue Weisler

Fifth-grade students at Emma E. Sherman Elementary School, in Henrietta, chatted with astronaut Sunita Williams on Jan 8. Contact was made via amateur (or \"ham\") radio as Williams flew overhead, at 17,500 miles per hour, aboard the International Space Station.

Those who weren’t huddled around an amateur radio at Emma Sherman Elementary School in Henrietta Jan. 8 can now listen to the conversation that took place between the school’s fifth-graders and Astronaut Sunita Williams on the Web, thanks to a podcast provided by Rochester Institute of Technology.

The Sherman students engaged Williams, a flight engineer, in an eight-minute question and answer session that covered topics ranging from the training astronauts endure to the food that is consumed in space. The communication took place via ham radio while the space station soared over Rochester at 17,500 miles per hour. It was made possible by the Rochester Amateur Radio Association, with help from the RIT Amateur Radio Club. The school was on a three-year waiting list before finally getting its chance to speak with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

To listen to the audio of that session, visit the RIT University News Web site at www.rit.edu/news and click on “Latest Podcasts.”

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