Phone Call to Space

January  25, 2013

     A "real" science lesson today for some Quad Cities children. At the Putnam Museum in Davenport, they talked by phone and live video with two astronauts on the International Space Station. Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn spent half an hour answering questions, with a live video feed to the screen in the Giant Screen Theater.

     Ford says the best part of his several space missions has been the launch, and it's probably the most exciting thing he'll ever do.

     Answering a question about weghtles-ness, Marshburn says, it makes hard things easy and some easy things very hard. For example astronauts can move heavy boxes easily, but it's hard to find a good place to put a pencil so it won't float away. He says after months of weightless-ness he's learned to use his feet, along with his hands, to move through the International Space Station. 

     The live question and answer session took place as the space station traveled at 17,500 miles per hour, more than 200 miles above the earth.  The Putnam is one of just six venues across the country to be chosen to host this call from space. And the 250 children, from second to 9th grade, came from schools in Buffalo, Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport.