Lower School Student to Talk to Astronauts on International Space Station

November 2017

Seven-year-old second grader Chris Andersson wants to explore the universe in search of new planets when he’s grown.

He’s already launched model rockets with his father, Leif, and spends time almost every day on the Kerbal Space Program, a computer simulation game that allows students to design spacecraft and test launches into space, either with a rocket or a space plane. “Launching rockets is easier, even though they blow up sometimes,” stated Chris. “Space planes are harder. You have to understand aerodynamics, but it’s a lot of fun learning.”

Chris’ interest in space is about to reach new heights, literally. He recently entered an essay contest where students were tasked with proposing a question they would ask astronauts on board the International Space Station. His essay was selected as one of 12 winners, and on November 6 at the South Florida Science Center, Chris will get to talk live to ISS astronauts and ask his question: “What’s the most unexpected discovery you’ve made doing your science experiments on the International Space Station?”

One of Chris’ favorite places to visit is the Kennedy Space Center. “I get to listen, see, touch and learn so much about space travel,” said Chris. “My favorite part is being able to climb into the old crew capsules. They’re small even for me. I can’t imagine how astronauts do it.”

“I’ve been trying to support him and guide him into something that will benefit the future,” stated father Leif, an electrical engineer with his own interest in space and science. “Space is going to be huge, and Chris is determined to be a part of it. He and I have always played around with things; chemistry sets, electronic sets. Chris is very inquisitive.”

Chris and his father have big, ambitious plans over the next few years. They plan to propose and work with fellow Saint Andrew’s students to begin a series of space-related projects, starting with the launch of a balloon into the lower atmosphere, hopefully reaching as high as 110,000 feet, or 20 miles up.
“I very much appreciate what Saint Andrew’s offers my child, and I want Chris to be able to share his experience with his fellow students,” said Leif.

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