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Campers at RIT Chat With Astronaut On Board Space Station

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Rochester: Campers at RIT Chat With Astronaut On Board Space Station
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It was a big day at summer camp; unlike any the 5th and 6th grade girls at RIT's Engineering Camp had ever seen.

Through the power of amateur radio, campers contacted outer space. More specifically, Sunita Williams, an astronaut on board the International Space station.

"What's the smallest thing you can see on Earth by telescope from the Space Station?” asked a girl named Ellen.

“I'm not sure it's the smallest thing, but I would be able to see the Statue of Liberty."

The International Space Station circles the earth at 17,000 miles per hour, so there was a short window for the connection. Campers made the most of it, with all sorts of questions.

"I asked her if she felt nauseous or hungry in more space. She said when you first get up there, you feel a lot more nauseous because you've gotta get used to the no gravity thing,” said Haley Corrette.

Asked about dreams, Williams said, “Interesting you should ask. When I'm in space, I dream about my dog at home. When I'm on Earth, I sometimes dream about being in space."

"My favorite part was when one of the girls asked, do you age in space? That was pretty funny,” said Hannah Means.

The campers learn about space and technology, and the role engineers play; though they're also finding out astronauts come from many backgrounds.

"They can do this too. They can go through school in whatever field they want, but they can still become an astronaut,” said Jessica Trotman, co-coordinator at the camp. "I think it can be extremely inspirational."

"That was really cool, because not every day you get to do that. Now you can like, tell... yeah. I just talked to an astronaut and stuff. It's pretty cool,” said Haley.

Williams holds the record for longest space flight by a woman. To say she's proving to campers that the sky's the limit would be an understatement.

"It inspires me because of how far she got, to be in space,” said Hannah. “That's really cool. She had to work a lot to get there. Maybe I can get there."

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