Israeli Students Speak with Canadian Astronaut in Space

February 4, 2013 2:04 am 0 comments

Photo: Jerusalem high school team wins Ilan Ramon Foundation's space competition.

JERUSALEM - Ninth grade physics students at Hebrew University Secondary School (Leyada) in Jerusalem spoke with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, as he orbited the Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, February 3.

The Israeli high school students were the recent winners of the Ilan Ramon Space Olympics hosted each year by the Ilan Ramon Foundation, established in honor of Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. Ramon perished in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster with six other American crew members, when the shuttle disintegrated reentering to earth 10 years ago.

Out of the 2,000 students from across Israel who participated in the Space Olympics, Leyada’s 19-member team won first prize, for building a space platform to repair satellites and constructing a guesthouse in space.

The first prize granted the winning students a chance to speak with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who recently spoke with public school students in Ontario. According to Leyada’s Reuben Tel-Dan, the proud physics teacher who oversaw the project, ” I believe that Leyada is the first school in Israel to communicate with space.”

The special event is part of NASA’s Teaching From Space Program, which gives schoolchildren the chance to ask questions and hear answers from astronauts living aboard the space station via Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). The contact is performed using the Amateur Radio telebridge network, a world-wide network of amateur radio ground stations that allow students to contact the space station, as it flies more than 200 miles above Earth.

Leyada students came prepared with a list of 20 questions for Hadfield, from everything about what life in space is like to homesickness and boredom. One of the ninth grade students, Ron, asked Hadfield where he slept more comfortably – on Earth or in the space station. Hadfield laughed, replying that ”sleeping in the space station is comfortable, but I sleep better at home with my wife.” Another student, Yoni wanted to know how astronauts distinguish between day and night in the space station. Hadfield explained that there were 16 sunrises a day, but the crew uses an alarm clock for their sleep routines.

Along with the physics team, over 200 Leyada students listened carefully to the audio conversation which took place at 11 am in the morning.

Although the weak signals cut the fascinating conversation short, for Ya’arit Segal, one of the student leaders of the project, the prize was worth the hours that she and her team spent on the project for the past three months. The ninth grader described many sleepless nights that she her teammates experienced creating their successful space project. ”We spent days and nights working on our project and the process had a huge impact on us,” she told Tazpit News Agency.

”I don’t know if I’ll be an astronaut someday,” concedes Segal. ”But it would be so interesting to conduct experiments in space and learn how to work together with a crew.”

Leyada’s principal, Dr. Gilead Amir, was especially impressed with the students’ initiative. ”Today was a great example for all of us, both students and teachers – in learning how school projects can directly impact our lives. Sometimes what we do at school can even lead to historical moments.”

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.