Astronaut Andreas Mogensen taking chocolate mousse for dessert at the space station. Photo: European Space Agency ESA

Science and technology

On December 4, 2023, Finland's renowned science center Heureka will connect with the International Space Station (ISS) in a unique event titled "Do You Copy, Orbit?". Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen will answer questions sent in advance by Finnish schoolchildren, focusing on space and technology, directly from the ISS's orbit.

The "Do You Copy, Orbit?" event, tailored for school groups, will run from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

It will feature a variety of space-themed workshops, planetarium movies, and information about space and space technology throughout the day. The highlight of the day will be the live video call with Mogensen, scheduled from approximately 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM. During the call, he will share his experiences living in space and respond to the questions from the schoolchildren.

Organized by the European Space Agency (ESA), the in-flight call (IFC) will focus on technology and the research tasks astronauts perform in space. Mogensen, participating in the Huginn space mission, is on his second stint on the ISS. He first visited the ISS for a short 10-day iriss mission in 2015 and returned in August this year for a six-month mission aboard a SpaceX craft.

Heureka has previously established direct video links to space. The first was in 2016 with Finnish-descendant astronaut Timothy Kopra, and the second in December 2017 with ESA's Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli.

Jutta Kujasalo, Head of Programme Production at Heureka, notes that space science and technology offer interdisciplinary and cross-scientific research information. "They provide career opportunities for children and youth and are an easily approachable, intriguing, and observation-inspiring theme for people of all ages. The 'Do You Copy, Orbit?' event is part of Heureka's schoolchildren's space week and the collaboration implemented through ESERO Finland with the European Space Agency ESA," she says.

ESA's coordinated ESERO educational program is the agency's main channel for supporting science and technology education in primary and secondary schools. With declining numbers of young people entering science and technology fields and PISA results showing a decrease in Finnish schoolchildren's proficiency in natural sciences, ESERO Finland aims to reverse these trends.