An 8-year-old girl’s latest chat on her father’s ham radio was out of this world
Isabella Payne, from Kent, England, spoke with a NASA astronaut who was aboard the International Space Station on Aug. 2, ITV reported.
Isabella, a member of Hilderstone Radio Society G0HRS, used her father’s amateur radio station, M0LMK, to contact astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who was using the ISS amateur station, according to the BBC.
Lindgren tweeted that his chat with Isabella was most likely his “favorite contact so far.”
“Once he found out I was 8, his voice instantly turned from normal to joyful,” Isabella told the BBC. “You could hear his smile.”
Isabella had just fallen asleep on Aug. 2 when her father, Matthew Payne, woke her up and took her to the amateur radio, CNN reported. He put a microphone in front of the child, who was still a little bleary-eyed.
“I was like, ‘Why are you doing this to me? I need my beauty sleep,’” Isabella told CNN on Wednesday.
Matthew Payne, 42, owns the radio and has held a license for 22 years, according to the news network. During their breaks, some ISS crew members make short, unscheduled calls to radio amateurs on earth, the network reported.
“You have to get the right time when the space station is passing overhead, and it has to be the right time of day when the astronaut is using the equipment,” Matthew Payne told the BBC.
It was the right time for Isabella, who sat on her father’s lap as she broadcast to the ISS.
“My name’s Isabella, I’m 8 years old,” the girl told Lindgren.
“It’s so great to chat with you, thank you for getting on the radio and saying hello,” Lindgren said.
Isabella and her father are both space and radio fans, CNN reported. Matthew Payne said his daughter has been sitting on his knee since she was a toddler to watch “all the launches, all the space station events, all the spacewalks” together.
The galactic world conversation has helped stoke Isabella’s ambition to someday work for NASA, CNN reported.
“I want to talk to the astronauts and say, for example: ‘Good morning, Sam. Is everything still floating around up there like it’s supposed to?’” Isabella told CNN.
She is off to a good start.
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