Eight-year-old makes contact with astronaut in space via dad's amateur radio

Isabella Payne using her father's radio. Credit: Matthew Payne

An eight-year-old from Kent managed to contact an NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station - an interaction the astronaut called his "favourite so far".

Space fan Isabella Payne chatted to Kjell Lindgren via amateur radio around a fortnight ago. Her father, Matthew Payne, owns the radio and has held a license for 12 years.

During their breaks, some ISS crew members make short, unscheduled calls to radio amateurs on earth, who are also known as "hams".

'My name's Isabella, I'm eight years old'

These conversations are normally kept short, so Isabella told Mr Lindgren her name, age and call sign (the identifying letters and numbers assigned to license-holders).

"Isabella, it's so great to hear from you. Thank you for getting on the radio and saying hello," Mr Lindgren responded.

"Thank you, fly safe," Isabella signs off.

After Mr Payne tweeted about the call, Mr Lindgren responded: "I've had a lot of fun using the #ARISS amateur radio station #NA1SS on the @Space_Station to talk with ham radio operators all over the world.

"I've even (unofficially) worked stations on all continents! But this may be my favourite contact so far."

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