Space talk on hold

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Stonepark students who were to have spoken to International Space Station next week waiting till February or March for chat

A photo of P.E.I. from the International Space Station, tweeted by Cmdr Chris Hadfield on Dec. 31, 2012.

Students from Stonepark Intermediate School in Charlottetown will have to wait several more weeks before chatting with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, the Canadian commander aboard the International Space Station.

Grade 9 students at Stonepark had planned to link up with Hadfield sometime next week via ham radio.

The school had been working with NASA to allow students to link directly with astronauts on the International Space Station by radio.

"They asked if our school would be interested, because never has a school on Prince Edward Island done something like this," said Stonepark teacher-librarian Sue Geddes, who is overseeing the project.

Fifteen Stonepark students will get to ask Hadfield questions during a 10-minute window. The students will communicate using amateur radio, with all of the equipment arriving at the school about a week before the communication.

The communication was scheduled to occur between Jan. 14 and 20 but due to circumstances beyond the school’s control, that linkup has been pushed into late February or early March.

Geddes said the school would know better by the middle of next month.

She said anticipation has been growing among students and parents alike, and it will really be high by the end of February.

Hadfield chatted with students from a Halifax area school last weekend in a link-up that was hampered by technical difficulties. The link was 15 minutes late starting and not all students selected were able to get their questions asked.

Hadfield will be getting a video from the school with the remaining questions and he will be able to answer those students by video as well.

Hadfield blasted into space the week before Christmas to take over control of the space station.

Organizations: International Space Station, Stonepark Intermediate School, NASA

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Halifax

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