Scots schoolboy gets message from space
By Amanda MacMillan
A SCOTTISH schoolboy is over the moon after receiving a message from outer space.
Harry Campbell received the message from three astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) after a film he made was sent up for them to watch.
The 13-year-old from Dundee made the 15-minute film about his dream holiday to Russia’s biggest rocket base.
He captured footage of US, Japanese and Russian astronauts preparing for blast-off.
And when NASA saw the footage they were so impressed they beamed it 220 miles above the earth to the ISS for them to watch.
Now NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Vokov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa have sent Harry – full name Harrison – a filmed message saying his movie was “amazing”.
Commander for Exhibition 29, Mike Fossum, says in the video message: “Harrison we saw your video up here on the space station, the video that you took of our training in Star City and about the whole process.
“It was an amazing video. It was a lot of fun you have a lot of talent and I can really tell that you enjoyed it a lot. You learned a lot and I learned a lot for watching it.
“It was a lot of fun so thank you for your interests. You continue your education, your interest in space and you’re going to find amazing ways to help tell the story.
“Thank you from the International Space Station.”
The three spacemen put on a little show to camera and play with a drinks can by spinning it in mid-air to show the lack of gravity.
They also float around before switching off.
The message was sent to Harry by Johnson space centre ISS flight director Matt Abott on Monday night.
Harry’s father, Cory Campbell, 42, said that Harry is “over the moon” at receiving the message.
He said: “He (Harry) was at Air Cadets and we took the laptop with us to show him. His face went red and he was a bit embarrassed but it’s incredible.
“It’s something he never expected. He must be the only boy in the UK to get a video message from space.”
Mr Campbell said that Harry had also received a letter of thanks from the Dowager Countess of Strathmore, Patron of the Tayside Space School.
She wrote that she watched Harry’s film with her grandson at Glamis Castle.
She also sent Harry, a CD copy of a phone message to her from Colonel Alvin Drew when he was on the ISS earlier in the year.
But Mr Campbell said: “Even she’s only received a phone call. It was a voice message.”
He added: “It’s a real honour for him. He sent them an email back telling them that it’s a real honour to receive this. He was over the moon. He can’t believe it, he was so proud of himself.”
Harry made his video on a family trip to Star City, the base for Russia’s space programme, in April this year.
He captured footage of NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Vokov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi in preparation for their sixth-month journey.
His finished film, complete with music and a witty commentary, was shown at an event at Dundee’s Abertay University which happened to be attended by US astronauts.
They were so impressed they flagged the movie up to their bosses at NASA and earlier this month it was beamed to Fossum, Vokov and Furukawa as they orbited the earth at 7.7 kilometres per second.
When Harry heard that astronauts will be watching his video from space he said: “It’s pretty good. I feel really proud of myself.”
The video took Harry around three days to make and has over 140 views on YouTube.
Harry picked some fitting theme tunes including Rocket Man by Elton John, Fly me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra and Spaceman by Babylon Zoo.
He has narrated the video and also added some helpful titles so that viewers know what they are watching.
And some witty comments he makes throughout the footage had former astronauts in stitches when they watched it at the Tayside Space School earlier this year.
When looking at a device which sends food and supplies to the International Space Station Harry comments: “Like Tesco delivery, this vehicle sends up to seven tonnes of supplies into space.”
And when looking at the “space toilet” he says “this is not my mum’s vacuum cleaner”.
Now the message from the three astronauts has been added to the end of his video for everyone to see.
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