WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The International Space Station completes one orbit around the earth every 90 minutes, that’s about equal to 16 times a day. For Isabella Payne, she only needed one of those orbits to make a memory that’ll last a lifetime.
Isabella from Kent in southeast England spoke with American astronaut Kjell Lindgren aboard the International Space Station (ISS) using her father’s ham radio for about 45 seconds.
Per CNN, On August 2, 2022, she had just fallen asleep when her dad woke her up and brought her out to the amateur radio, setting the microphone in front of her face.
“I was like ‘Why are you doing this to me? I need my beauty sleep,’” Isabella told CNN on Wednesday.
From her dad’s lap, she told Lindgren her name and age. “His voice instantly changed from normal to joyful,” she said. “You could hear his smile.”
Not long after their conversation, Astronaut Kjell Lindgren told followers on Twitter about it, saying his chat with Isabella may be his “favorite contact so far.”
Isabella’s father, Matthew Payne, has held an amateur radio license for more than 15 years, according to the BBC. He told CNN that conversations with astronauts are kept short, with a brief mention of your call sign to tell them who you are, your name, and a quick thank you and goodbye.
“They’re only in the sky above us for 10 to 15 minutes and we want as many people as possible down here to have that kind of experience,” Payne explained. “You have to get the right time when the space station is passing overhead, and it has to be the right time of day when the astronaut is using the equipment,” he told the BBC.
According to Payne, both he and his daughter are space and radio fans. He has kept her involved in the space community since she was a baby watching “all the launches, all the space station events, all the spacewalks” together.
The galactic world conversation has helped stoke Isabella’s ambition to someday work for NASA, CNN reported.