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Missoula students interview Space Station astronaut 200 miles above Missoula

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Jan 08 2013 06:27:29 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 08 2013 06:57:31 PM MST

It's a story Missoula youngsters may one day tell their grandchildren.

They talked via radio frequencies to the space team as it soared above Missoula.

MISSOULA, Mont. -

This is a story scores of Missoula youngsters may one day tell their grand kids.

One day they talked to International Space Station astronauts as they soared over Missoula.

Target Range School was home base for hundreds of kids from schools all over Missoula in an out-of-this-world radio conference.

Space station astronauts sent Missoula students, their teachers and their parents a pre-taped message.

"Happy new year," said commander Kevin Ford and his team.

Target Range hosted a phone call to the space station using ham radio-designated frequencies.

Space Station astronauts circle the globe every 90 minutes. They made connection at a strategic time.

"Exactly over Missoula," said Target Range teacher Kay Ebelt, "and exactly over Target Range School, 200 miles up."

Youngsters who won essay contests got to interview commander Ford.

Fifth grader Carson Cronk wrote what NASA means to him.

"Like clean air and water," said the student, "and they do research for breast cancer."

There wasn't a lot of time, but there were a lot of questions. What experiments are you working on now? Does food taste differently? Do you experience the sense of pain the same in space?

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to just talk to the astronauts," said student Shelby Lenox.