8-year-old girl talks to astronaut using dad’s ham radio




Isabella Payne, who managed to talk to an astronaut via amateur radio

Isabella Payne, who managed to talk to an astronaut via amateur radio

Photo: Personal collection / Twitter @m0lmk

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.

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.

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.

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