Some parents give their kids candy on Valentine’s Day, but this dad gave his kids a shout out from the International Space Station! Space Station Commander Kevin Ford flew over Rhode Island at 6 p.m. on Feb. 14th, giving his adult children, Heidi and Anthony a glimpse at his cool office from over 220 miles away, reports Brown University.
Heidi and her brother have watched their dad’s fly-bys in the past, but this was the first time they saw his workplace up-close through a telescope. Astronomer Robert Horton helped the brother and sister duo track the ISS at Brown University’s Ladd Observatory.
But not only could Heidi and Anthony see the space station, they were able to talk to their dad while he flew overhead. Just before he flew by, Ford called his daughter from space.
“He told her, ‘I’m over Texas. I’ll be there in a few minutes,’” said Horton. “Sure enough the point of light appeared in the sky and we started to track it. They could look through the eyepiece and actually make out the solar panels while they were talking with him.”
Having grown up with an astronaut for a dad, you might think that Heidi and Anthony would be over the whole space thing, but they were impressed by what they saw through the telescope on Valentine’s Day.
“Obviously I’m pretty interested in space in general just because of my dad’s career,” Heidi said, “but we were still really shocked by how well we were able to see the moon and stars and even Jupiter through the Ladd’s telescope — especially when you think about it being a century old.”