A group of fourth graders from Karachi got the surprise of their lives when they wrote to NASA and got replies from an astronaut and a space expert.
Fourth graders from The Cornerstone School in Karachi, Pakistan wrote a letter to NASA asking some questions about their adventures in space.
Their teacher posted their questions on Twitter.
These fourth graders have some questions for you.@NASA @Space_Station @NASAEarth @NASA_Johnson @NASA_Astronauts @NASAKennedy @MarkRober @DestinSandlin @TheSpaceGal @neiltyson— Aimun (@bluemagicboxes) October 14, 2020
(Please share) pic.twitter.com/TiV0WCD1vG
Their teacher tagged NASA, a bunch of astronauts and everyone else she could think of, hoping to get a response.
Over 1,000 people retweeted the letter and eventually, multiple astronauts and space experts replied.
Here are the replies from Emily Calandrelli, an American science communicator and the host of Xploration Outer Space and Emily’s Wonder Lab.
Alisha – All different types! Some popular rockets that you'll see will use a fuel + an oxidizer. For example, something called RP-1 and then liquid oxygen. These are combined together and then *ignited* and burned to create a big (controlled) explosion that moves the rocket! 🚀— Emily Calandrelli (@TheSpaceGal) October 14, 2020
Here is what she said:
Alisha, age 10: What fuel does a spaceship use?
All different types! Some popular rockets that you’ll see will use a fuel + an oxidizer. For example, something called RP-1 and then liquid oxygen. These are combined together and then *ignited* and burned to create a big (controlled) explosion that moves the rocket!
Minahil, age 10: What should I study to become a part of NASA?
NASA needs all types of people for their missions! Mostly scientists and engineers (so studying a STEM degree is a good idea!) but also IT people, human resources specialists, accountants, technicians, writers, etc! But remember you will probably need to be a US citizen
Haniyah, age 9: Is it true that it rains diamonds on Jupiter?
It’s definitely possible!! The same physics and chemistry that creates diamonds here on Earth (putting Carbon under super high heat/pressure) exists on planets like Jupiter, so some scientists hypothesize that it’s raining diamonds there! Wouldn’t it be fun to see that?!
Mahrukh, age 10: How do you feel when you get blasted off in a space shuttle?
I hear it’s like riding a roller coaster! I rode one with Shuttle Astronaut Jon McBride who explained that the same gravitational forces you feel on a Shuttle launch can be felt by riding a roller coaster! Highest is about 3-g, which feels like 3 times your weight!
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield also replied to Mahrukh’s question and spoke about how it felt in a space shuttle.
Mahrukh – I flew in the Space Shuttle twice. You feel violently shaken, squished, super-focused, excited and lucky. https://t.co/156xQxW3J3— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) October 14, 2020
Anabiya, age 9: What is the most fascinating thing that you have discovered yet?
NASA is discovering new things all the time (about the universe, our solar system, and our own bodies!), but in my opinion their best work is on our own planet. NASA’s Earth Observing System studies the Earth and shows us how climate change is affecting our planet.
Rayyan, age 10: Do you get scared that your space shuttle might get lost?
I’m not an Astronaut (and I don’t work at NASA!) so you may want to ask someone else 😉 But I would say that of course spaceflight is dangerous, so NASA trains astronauts and their team back on Earth for every possible scenario. They are prepared for anything!
Rayyan also got a reply from astronaut Hadfield who even sent a picture of Karachi from space.
Rayyan – I wasn't scared we'd get lost. We had the Earth nearby, and used the stars to steer. I felt especially comforted when I flew over home. Here's a photo I took of Karachi – can you find your school? https://t.co/QBgI7W7weC pic.twitter.com/qrUYHr8GqY— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) October 14, 2020
He also got one directly from the control centre of Ariane 6, a launch system developed and manufactured under the authority of the European Space Agency.
Dear Rayyan & @bluemagicboxes we will gladly answer your question – last but most definitely not least! The answer comes directly from the control centre of Ariane 6 🚀 #Grade4HasQuestions pic.twitter.com/7z8Lhvi5lx— DLR – English (@DLR_en) October 14, 2020
The children also got replies from NASA scientists and space experts on Reddit!
The German Aerospace Center also sent replies to their questions.
People were ecstatic over the replies and some suggested that Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry get involved to help other kids have their questions answered.