The children of Gran Canaria got a real treat when European Space Agency astronaut Paulo Nespoli answered questions from local school children. Contact between the school and Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) was made and gave the children the opportunity to speak directly with the crew and ask them how they were getting along.
It is hoped that the excitement that the children had will mean that more youngsters take more of an interest in learning about science, technology and the outer world as recent studies show that Science is one of the world’s most in decline subjects. As well as getting the children interested, it was also hoped that youngsters will understand the dangers of going into space and learn about the conditions that astronauts have to live with, such as; how they cope with solar storms, what is the temperature inside and outside of the station and the age of the astronauts when they decided they wanted to go into the profession that they did.
The Institute for Technological Development and Research in Communications based at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria operated the Link with the question and answer session being conducted in English. If the institute believes it was a success, many more of these kind of question and answer sessions could happen, with more people from other professions also inspiring local children to follow their dreams, such as doctors, nurses and people from high quality professions.