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Call from Space was a Technology Success
20 September 2004
Story and photos by Dennis J. Neumann

BISMARCK, ND - The call from space went off without a hitch. Two dozen students, attending Youth Day during the United Tribes International Powwow, participated in a 20-minute conversation with two space travelers aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed over North America on Friday, September 10.

Jaron Noisy Hawk asking question
"Do you have to wear a helmet at all times even in the Space Station?" asks Jaron Noisy Hawk, Grade 8, Theodore Jamerson Elementary School. Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, at left on the monitor screen, answered with a thick Russian accent "it wasn't always necessary, as you can see now." At left Nylen Lovan awaits her chance to ask a question. At rear, coordinator Jen Janacek follows each student's scripted question.

      NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke and Expedition 9 Commander/Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka answered questions from students assembled in an interactive video classroom at UTTC's Jack Barden Student Life and Technology Center.

      "It was a huge success," said Jen Janecek, event organizer and director of the United Tribes Rural Systemic Initiative. "I really think this will spark some interest in science and technology for these youngsters."

      A throng of several dozen other students watched on a big screen TV in the UTTC gym as the two men answered questions posed by students from three Bismarck elementary schools and two middle schools.

Commander/Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke
Commander/Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka, left, and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke answered questions from students at UTTC's Jack Barden Student Life and Technology Center as the International Space Station passed over North America on Friday, September 10.

      Bismarck Community Access TV carried the event live and later edited a 20-minute program about it, which is scheduled to show on Cable Channel 12 in September. Education Reporter Julie Cronin prepared a news report for KXMB-TV. The event was carried worldwide on NASA TV.

      "I am so pleased that UTTC was featured locally and around the world," said Janecek. "The students, UTTC representatives, community members and parents will never forget this."

      Participating students attend Pioneer, Jeanette Myhre, and Theodore Jamerson Elementary Schools, and Wachter and Horizon Middle Schools. A team of NASA representatives visited Bismarck to help coordinate the downlink and make information presentations at several schools, Youth Day and the United Tribes Intertribal Summit Conference.


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