Famous astronaut answers questions from Harrogate children

Children from across North Yorkshire came to Harrogate for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to quiz a world-famous astronaut last week.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:15 am
Eight-year-old Alexis Bailey asking Chris Hadfield and his pet dog a question about being an astronaut.

New Harrogate scheme to help homeless by donating with credit card250 pupils were given the chance to talk to Col. Chris Hadfield - a former astronaut and commander of the International Space Station (ISS) via live video link up all the way from California.

Richard Taylor CE Primary hosted the live Q&A where children from six local schools asked questions like how it feels to sleep standing up and why he decided to become an astronaut.

Freddie, a year six pupil at Richard Taylor, said: "Chris Hadfield told us loads of mind-boggling facts like that rockets can travel miles in one second!"

Harrogate pupils quizzed Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space, at Richard Taylor Primary School.

Col. Chris Hadfield – who is also famed for hosting the BBC’s Astronauts: Do you have what it takes? television series – told the children about what life for him was like on the ISS.

He explained how easy and relaxing it is sleeping in space, what exciting experiments he had been part of and the ins and outs of going to the toilet.

Children from Richard Taylor CE Primary School, St Aiden’s CE High School, Bilton Grange Community Primary, Cowling Primary, Skipton Parish CE Primary, and Grove Road Community Primary School were given this rare chance to speak to the astronaut – known as the singing spaceman after becoming a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ - through the Space Camp UK project.

Edie, a year five pupil at Richard Taylor, who asked the commander a question, said: "I felt honoured to speak to the singing astronaut. He was so interesting."

'Pop Up Shop' at Victoria Shopping Centre in Harrogate to help homelessFrankie, a year six pupil at Richard Taylor, said: "I was really pleased to hear from a real-life astronaut that there are as many opportunities for women as men. You just have to work hard and do your best.”

The Deputy Headteacher at Richard Taylor, Emma Crisell, said the experience will be one the children 'will never forget.'

She added: "We are so privileged to have had the chance to speak to a world-famous astronaut, whose words have so obviously had a big impact on the children already.”

Through the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which funds Space Camps in the UK to encourage the study of cosmology and Astrophysics at the youngest age, the astronaut offered his time to speak to local children as part of his passion for promoting STEM careers and to inspire local children, who could become the astronauts of the future.

A spokesperson for the Stephen Hawking Foundation said: “We are delighted with this wonderful opportunity for those students participating in Space Camps and numerous others, to have an opportunity to put their questions about space, cosmology and the stars directly to Chris Hadfield. This will surely inspire these young minds to continue to look up and wonder.”

Who will win Harrogate seat if General Election takes place soonFiona Spellman, CEO of SHINE, said: "SHINE is proud to have supported Space Camps right from the outset through its pioneering funding programme for teachers, Let Teachers SHINE. Together with Amanda Poole and the Stephen Hawking Foundation, we are helping to open up access to physics learning to children from all backgrounds, and inspire the next generation of young scientists."