Otley schoolchildren interview British astronaut Tim Peake

PUBLISHED: 00:00 23 May 2016

Esme Thorpe, four, and the children of Ashfield Primary School speak live to Tim Peake on the space station Photo by Richard Walker/ imagenorth.net

Esme Thorpe, four, and the children of Ashfield Primary School speak live to Tim Peake on the space station Photo by Richard Walker/ imagenorth.net

© 2016 Richard Walker/ ImageNorth

There was an extraterrestrial beginning to a school day for one group of pupils

British astronaut Tim Peake Photo by NASA/Joel Kowsky/Rex Shutterstock'British astronaut Tim Peake Photo by NASA/Joel Kowsky/Rex Shutterstock'

Children from a Yorkshire school chatted live to British astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station as it passed directly overhead. The children aged between three and 11 from Ashfield Primary School, Otley took part in a live link during which they couldn’t quite believe they were talking directly to someone in space.

Zac Shaffrey,11, among the lucky ones chosen to ask Tim a question, said: ‘Speaking to Tim Peake live from space was awesome! We were all so excited when his face came on the screen and we could hear his voice. It was amazing because he is so far away but he could hear everything we were asking. We learned that astronauts have space sweets and their food floats around if they don’t stick it down.’

Elspeth Warren, head of Ashfield Primary, said it had been an incredibly exciting day for everyone at the school. ‘We feel so honoured to have been chosen to speak to Tim and the experience for the children has been wonderful. Tim is an incredible role model for the children and I know many of them now want to follow in his footsteps and travel to space.’

ARISS UK (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) provided and set up all necessary radio equipment such as low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios, to establishing a fully functional, direct radio link with the space station from the schools’ very own premises. In a 10-minute window an amateur radio contact was established with Tim and the students were able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the space station.

Kitty Meggitt, nine, listens to Tim answering her question from the space stationKitty Meggitt, nine, listens to Tim answering her question from the space station

Students were able to hear and see his response immediately. Tim was using the amateur radio call sign GB1SS while he talked to the school. The school used the call sign GB1APS.

The live linkup was also broadcast on the big screen in Millennium Square in Leeds so the whole city could enjoy the moment.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: ‘What a fantastic week this has been for Yorkshire. After showcasing our county to 178 counties across the world with the Tour de Yorkshire we’ve now even reached space. This is a momentous day and one the children will remember for the rest of their lives.’

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