Owen Catelli, 5, speaks into the ISS phone hookup asking International Space Station astronaut Tim Peake what the room temperature is aboard the space station. The Q&A Tuesday at the Frederick W. Hartnett Middle School in Blackstone came during a live connection made with the space station as it made its closest pass, 200 miles above Earth. (Ernest A. Brown/The Call)

BLACKSTONE — It was one giant leap for Blackstone Millville Regional school students who got an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Tuesday to talk live with European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Tim Peake on board the International Space Station (ISS).

About 600 students in Grades 5-8 from the Frederick W. Hartnett Middle School, Augustine F. Maloney Elementary School and Millville Elementary School gathered for an assembly at the Middle School where the history-making moment occurred at approximately 12:41 p.m. when the school made a telebridge contact with the space station via an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) ground station at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

ARISS, a joint venture by NASA and two amateur radio groups, allows groups of students in schools, camps, museums and planetariums to hold a conversation with the people living in space. As the International Space Station passes overhead, students have between five and eight minutes to ask crew members questions.

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