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Kids in Bangor reach for the stars by speaking to astronaut

Campers at the Challenger Learning Center of Maine had a live conversation with International Space Station Astronaut Bob Hines.

BANGOR, Maine — Kids in Bangor on Thursday were able to experience something out of this world.

Campers at the Challenger Learning Center of Maine made a connection to space, live chatting with International Space Station Astronaut Bob Hines.

Bob Hines called in using amateur radio, giving kids at Challenger Centers across the country the opportunity to ask questions.

"This is really a, I don't want to say once in a life opportunity, but a really rare opportunity that an astronaut is currently aboard the ISS and able to talk live with them," Lead Flight Director at the Challenger Learning Center of Maine Sarah Raymond-Boyan said. 

Elin Main, a camper going into second grade, asked the first question live from Bangor.

"Going to space must change your perspective of the world. What is your favorite experience of living in space you like to tell your family and friends? Over,” Main asked.

“I like especially watching sunsets and watching the Aurora -- the northern and southern lights," Hines responded. "Those are really, really beautiful.”

Raymond-Boyan says she hopes this opportunity will help the kids aim for the stars one day.

“Being able to be that spark to get them excited in science whether it's through space or through something else just to know that that could be them up there someday,” Raymond-Boyan said.

Today, Hines may have already inspired a future generation showing them they, too, can reach past the stars. Elias Porter, a fourth grader, says he has a new dream that’s out of this world.

“Talking to real astronauts is a dream, but my dream is to become the first person on Mars,” Porter said.

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