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'Do You Ever Get Homesick?' — Schoolkids Pose Questions To Maine Astronauts Aboard ISS


Students across the state on Monday got to talk with two astronauts from Maine who are aboard the International Space Station. York native Chris Cassidy has just arrived for his third mission into space, while Caribou native Jessica Meir returns to Earth in about a week.

Through a virtual interconnect, one student from the Jefferson Village School asked whether constellations look different in space. As Cassidy explained, it’s hard to see the stars from the space station.

“One, we’re always looking down at Earth. That’s the most interesting thing to look out the window. But the way the light is and the way windows are oriented, it’s somewhat challenging to get a good view of a star,” he says. “Occasionally you can. But, if you think about it, we are 250 miles above the surface of the Earth and the distance to the stars is way, way more than that.”

One student from the Warren Community School wanted to know about the astronauts’ favorite tasks aboard the ISS. Meir says there are 2 in particular: scientific experiments and walking in space.

“Going outside of the hatch in a space suit, as Chris knows too — it’s the best part of our job. That view that we have and the fact that you’re out there all on your own, just contained in your own little mini space ship, almost, looking back at the Earth and the vacuum of space through only your visor, it is just an extraordinary feeling,” she says.

Among the other questions asked of the astronauts were, “Do you ever get homesick?” and, “What do you do with your dirty laundry?”

The event was coordinated by the Challenger Learning Center of Maine and Maine Space Grant Consortium.