On August 2, Isabella had just fallen asleep when her father woke her up, pulled her to the radio and pointed a microphone at her.
“I was like, ‘Why are you doing this to me?'” Isabella told CNN on Wednesday. I need my sweet sleep.”
From her father’s bosom, she told Lindgren her name and age. “His voice instantly changed from normal to cheerful,” she said. “You can hear his smile.”
“I was so excited when I heard his voice,” she added. “I thought it was a dream.”
Isabella’s father, Matthew Payne, 42, said he’s held an amateur radio license for 22 years. He told CNN that conversations with the astronauts are brief, with a brief mention of your call sign — one assigned to each person authorized by official agencies — to tell them who you are, your name, a quick thank you and goodbye.
“They’re only in the sky above us for 10 to 15 minutes and we want as many people here as possible to have that kind of experience,” Payne explained.
He said the International Space Station has an amateur radio station on board that astronauts use to communicate with schools while they are in orbit. Occasionally, during their downtime, they also “call” any of the amateur radio operators on Earth.
Payne recounted, “I heard through the communities that part of him (Lindgren) was using the radio, so we listened for a few weeks…and one evening I heard him call.”
Payne said the father and daughter are big fans of space and radio, adding that Isabella has been on his knees since she was a child, watching “All the launches, all the space station events, all the spacewalks” together.
“I want to talk to the astronauts and say, for example: ‘Good morning, Sam. Is everything still floating in there as it’s supposed to? ”
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