Sacred Hearts To Space: Mission Pau

Sacred Hearts Academy students successfully linked students from an Inuit school in Quebec Dec. 5 with astronaut Dan Burbank at the International Space Station. The East Oahu 'earth' team includes (from left) senior Brittany Villoria, radio club adviser Nancy Rocheleau, electronics engineer Dick Flagg and senior Tiffany Shigeoka. Photo from Hayley Mattson-Mathes.

Sacred Hearts Academy students are taking telecommunication way beyond text messaging. They’ve become a portal for communication linking students around the world with NASA’s International Space Station that hovers above our atmosphere.

Contact was made at 8 a.m. Dec. 5 through the NASA Amateur Radio Ground Station at the Kaimuki girls school as the ISS flew above Hawaii. The signal was then telebridged to students at Nuvviti School, located in Quebec, Canada, where students were able to ask astronaut Dan Burbank about life in space and living aboard a space station.

Sacred Hearts’ radio club adviser Nancy Rocheleau helped coordinate the school’s first conversation with a space station in 1994. She and electronics engineer Dick Flagg (a veteran of radio astronomy, missile and satellite tracking) established the radio station, which is one of only 11 worldwide. Since then the academy has participated in more than 111 contacts, helping connect the public and students to space station astronauts from Canada to India.