Benefits for Humanity: Station Inspiration


>>For generations, we dreamed
about a place to live and work in space, a place where life up there would benefit
life down here. Today, that dream has come true. Research on the International
Space Station improves lives all over the world; the
station’s benefits for humanity grow every day and
they can be told by the lives that have been changed.>>I grew up out in
the country in Indiana; corn and soy beans
were the main crops. I’ve always been interested
in technology and in science. Being out in the rural setting, there wasn’t a whole
lot of support for this. Space Jam is an annual
weekend Boy Scout event and we do all kinds of
technology based things. We have about a thousand
people that come every year. This is our seventh year doing
it and it’s a blast every year. The contact with the
International Space Station was one of the driving forces that
helped to create Space Jam. In fact, the first Space Jam
was really basically only about the contact.>>It was a dream that a Ham
radio operator can say hey, let’s — I want to talk to the
astronauts on the space station, that — how cool could that be? That’s the top of the game.>>Each year, we call up the
International Space Station and we give these young
kids the opportunity to ask questions
to the astronauts.>>Is it true that it will
take over a year to get to Mars and back, over?>>It absolutely is true.>>The first time that I remember really having
this real impression was I think the third year we did this. I was in charge of actually
calling up the space station and establishing the contact. We were out in the middle
of the night in a field and I said anyone SS,
anyone SS, this is WB9SA, calling for a scheduled contact. Do you contact, over? And I said it again and
then all of a sudden, real crisp comes back, WB9SA, this is the International
Space Station, how are you doing tonight. [Inaudible] this is amazing. I graduated as valedictorian
and I was lucky enough to be admitted to Princeton
with a complete scholarship and I then moved
to San Francisco, where I’m a sophomore
and junior. So I went from living on
a farm to living downtown in San Francisco, writing
software for people. it was really an amazing
experience to do all that.
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