Students from a central high school communicate with an astronaut on the International Space Station this afternoon to try to discover how space travel affects life on Earth.
Student Sean Brennan of Kiltoom outside of Athlone is one of more than a dozen young men and women participating in this real-time Earth to Space project.
In order to implement this wireless ground-to-space communication in real time, Athlone Community College students created a temporary amateur radio station on the school grounds, which would include a tracking antenna and a two-way radio system.
“I’m going to ask the astronaut what you think is the lasting effect of space travel on our Earth,” said Shawn this afternoon.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to talk directly to someone in space and I’m looking forward to that.”
In total, 300 questions were submitted by Athlone Community College. Some of the questions include; Does it change the sense of smell or taste in space? And “What is the most interesting thing that you have seen on Earth from the space station?”
“The entire school community is excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which both staff and students will never forget,” said science teacher and coordinator, Ms. Laura Donnellan. “I am delighted to be a part of this formidable school that is now recognized nationally and globally.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for students to see the possibilities and opportunities that life offers, and for all of us to see how far technology has come. With all the mini-events that we had planned as a science department previously and all the guest speakers on that day, it will truly offer an unforgettable experience. Students are inspired by the goal. For the sake of the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars. ”
The International Space Station will orbit the Earth at 27,600 kilometers per hour during the radio communication this afternoon.
The wireless connection is established with the help of the local radio amateurs club in Athlone, known as the “Shannon Basin Radio Club”.
The students are joined by officials from the Longford Westmeath Educational Training Board for Wireless Communication that will last more than ten minutes.
It is believed to be the first time in three years that students of an Irish school have been linked to a space station.
This afternoon, students will speak to US astronaut Shannon Walker aboard the International Space Station.
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