EDMONTON – Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield took part in a 20 minute question and answer session from the International Space Station Tuesday morning with students at the TELUS World of Science in Edmonton.
Six different schools participated in the Q&A, with more than 300 grade 7 to 10 students attending.
“What were or are your greatest fears about being in space?” asked Grade 9 student Cole during the session.
“Not knowing what I’m doing,” replied Hadfield, explaining that a lack of knowledge on his part can be dangerous for himself and also for others.
“You want to know how everything works,” he added.
“My biggest fear is being incompetent.” Hadfield told the students his fear motivates him to prepare intensely for a mission, and he compared training for a space mission to preparing for an exam. He told the students you feel better about the test if you walk into the exam room knowing the answer to every possible question.
“It was a good experience,” said Faith Gault. “It’s not every day that you get to do something like that. It’s amazing with our technology.”
“It was pretty cool,” added Mike Danks. “He’s in space right now so that pretty much sums it up…got to talk to space on a cell phone.”
I “talked to Chris Hadfield… it’s something I’ll be able to tell my kids about.”
The event is organized for Cosmonautic Day and Yuri’s Night celebrations, which commemorates the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight on April 12, 1961.
This is also the first Tweetup the Canadian Space Agency has held in Western Canada.
At the end of the Q&A session, Hadfield received an enthusiastic round of applause from his young audience.
The students then wished him a safe mission on the International Space Station.
“Bye bye,” he said, before floating upside down in zero gravity. “I look forward to my next trip to Edmonton.”
Hadfield has been sharing his experiences in space with close to 634,000 Twitter followers. His photos from space have earned him international attention.
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