January 30th

OUR wonderful January adventure, Mordochka—all these days of finding so much good in our world—wouldn’t be complete without a story from outer space. This was written by a very special woman named Dr. Rhea Seddon, who kindly let us share it. We’re very grateful to her.

Photo courtesy NASA

Once Upon A Space Shuttle

     Once upon a space shuttle there rode a famous lady astronaut whose name was Mom. Besides training to fly on the space shuttle and do sophisticated scientific research, she also had a little son named Paul. He was eight years old when Mom made her second flight into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia [1993].

     His school applied for the very special opportunity to speak
to the astronauts on Mom’s flight using a ham radio. The class worked hard to learn how communications with the shuttle worked. They learned how to use the ham radio, how to speak into the microphone, and how to say “Over!” when they had finished talking. Each member of the third grade class could prepare a question to be answered from space. Paul was really worried that Mom would embarrass him by treating him differ- ently from the other students. He worked out a deal with Mom that she would treat him just like any other student.

     The Shuttle Columbia launched successfully and a few days later it was time for Paul’s class to contact Mom and ask all their questions as the space shuttle flew across the United States. That only takes nine minutes so everyone had to speak VERY QUICKLY!

      Finally it was Paul’s turn. Just as they had planned, he asked his question and Mom answered just as she did for the other children. Then it came time to close the interview. Mom said to the class, “Thanks for calling! Your questions were great and I was happy to
talk to you. Over!”

     “Good-bye,” said their teacher. And then, a little voice came over the radio—almost in a whisper—and said, “I love you, Mom. Have a safe trip home.”

     These are the special things astronauts, and moms, hold in their hearts forever.

— By Dr. Rhea Seddon, NASA Astronaut.
Originally published in
Six Inches to England 
and used with permission.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - July 2021 §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com