Eight-year-old Isabella Payne managed to talk to American astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who was aboard the International Space Station, through her father Matthew Payne’s amateur radio. The feat of the family, who lives in the county of Kent, in England, took place on August 2, but was reported this week.
During the short-lived interaction, Isabella told Lindgren her name and age. Some time later, the astronaut commented on Twitter about the matter.
“I had a lot of fun using the ham radio station #NA1SS on the Space Station to talk to ham radio operators around the world. I even connected (unofficially) with stations from all continents. But this may have been my favorite contact so far”, he wrote, thanking Isabella.
I’ve had a lot of fun using the #ARISS amateur radio station #NA1SS on the @Space_Station to talk with ham radio operators all over the world. I’ve even (unofficially) worked stations on all continents! But this may be my favorite contact so far. Thanks Isabella and @m0lmk! https://t.co/Z2pWUbEZZr
— Kjell Lindgren (@astro_kjell) August 2, 2022
Matthew Payne told CNN that the International Space Station has an amateur radio that is used for astronauts to interact with schools while in orbit. From time to time, they can also get in touch with any ham radio operators on the planet — including Payne himself, who has been licensed for 22 years.
In April 2016, Payne helped students at a local school talk to British astronaut Tim Peake while he was aboard the ISS. At the time, Isabella was only two years old, and followed everything sitting on her father’s lap.
April 23, 2016. A 2 year old sat on my knee and watched the students of Wellesley House school chat with @astro_timpeake, an event I helped organize. Today she got her chance. Thank you so much @astro_kjellyou have changed her world. #iss #NASA #ARISS https://t.co/ImfevefePV
— Matt (@m0lmk) August 2, 2022
After the space talk earlier this month, Isabella has been giving several interviews and even exchanging emails with NASA. The girl has a dream of becoming a communication specialist for the space agency.