PALMER, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. Astronauts on-board the International Space Station were above Pathfinder High School in Palmer Friday and students who built their own radio were able to communicate with them.

Thousands of miles apart, students at Pathfinder made contact with the space station.

It is a program called ARISS, short for Amateur Radio International Space Station, that allows students to chat with astronauts with questions they took the time to come up with and Western Mass News was there.

The idea of it all is to encourage these students to continue to pursue their interests in STEM education.

"You may not be sure what field you want to go into and it's okay to be unsure and it's okay to change your mind. I majored in electrical engineering," said astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor.

The students in the radio club built the one used on Friday from top to bottom.

Instructors at the school helped them get to the finished product and no, Houston, it did not have a problem.

"I wasn't really sure how that was going to go with the storm and all that," said freshman Colby Kokosa.

Sophomore Lauren Tracy added, "It was insane. It was crazy."

The International Space Station is always roving, which means contacts like this one can happen all the time.

The registration to sign your school up for 2019 is November 30.

  • To learn more on the students' journey, CLICK HERE.
  • For information on how to apply for an ARISS contact, CLICK HERE

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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