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Ockerman Elementary School students take part in video chat with International Space Station astronaut

It’s enough to make you wish you were back in elementary school.

Photos courtesy of NASA and Associated Press/via Ockerman

Seventy-five students at Ockerman Elementary recently took part in a video chat with Colonel Mark Vande Hei, an astronaut currently onboard the International Space Station.

The students created and signed a card and they were each given the opportunity to ask a question.

Col. Vande Hei will break 4 U.S. records while on the ISS, all involving the continuous length of stay.

The 55-year-old Vande Hei is one of several Flight Engineers aboard the ISS and is scheduled to return to Earth on March 30, aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, after almost one year in space.

Last week, Vande Hei broke the U.S. single spaceflight record of 340 days. By the time he lands on Earth, he will have logged 355 days in space, setting another new U.S. record.

As tensions between the U.S. and Russia deepen, NASA officials confirmed the Soyuz remains on track to land in Kazakhstan. And the Russian state news outlet, Tass, also announced Vande Hei’s return on the Russian spacecraft will continue as planned.

While there, Col. Vande Hei has been conducting lab work for a number of experiments, including work that will hopefully have an impact on Alzheimer’s.

Colonel Vande Hei was invited to speak to the students at Ockerman Elementary by his friend and former classmate Cate Kruth, a Boone County Schools Speech Pathologist. Mrs. Kruth went to high school with Colonel Vande Hei and she and her husband have remained friends with him over the years.

No cameras or recording devices were permitted during the video conference.

Ockerman Elementary students interact with astronaut:

Boone County Schools

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