WDRB talks live to International Space Station crew - WDRB 41 Louisville News

WDRB talks live to International Space Station crew

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- WDRB News anchors Sterling Riggs and Candyce Clifft placed a call Thursday morning.

A call that reached all the way up into Earth orbit.

It was a first for WDRB when Riggs and Clifft spoke live to American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko aboard the International Space Station, 400 kilometers up.

During the interview, Kelly, who had posted an aerial image of Louisville, Kentucky on his Twitter page on Derby Day, says he was able to watch the Kentucky Derby from the station.

"We absolutely did," Kelly said. "All six crew members that were here at the time got together. We set up the big screen and we watched the race live actually, on our TV system we have. It was a very exciting day. We didn't get to see any of the other Triple Crown races because of timing and such, but we did get to watch the Kentucky Derby."

Both Kelly and Kornienko are expected to stay aboard the station for a full year, to study the effects of long-term spaceflight. 

RELATED: THE LONGEST MISSION: Astronaut Scott Kelly prepares for record-breaking year in space

The full transcript of the interview can be read below:

STERLING RIGGS: Station, this is WDRB-TV. How do you hear me?

SCOTT KELLY: We have you loud and clear. Welcome aboard the International Space Station.

CANDYCE CLIFFT: Thank you! Expedition 44 Flight Engineer Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are on-board the International Space Station this morning. Scott, first of all, can you tell us what landmark or continent you are currently over?

SCOTT KELLY: Well, I can't tell you for sure. I was gonna find out, but we got busy all of a sudden. Just looking at the window here, even though there's a window cover over it, just by the color of the Earth and how it shines in there, I would say probably somewhere over the South Pacific -- maybe Eastern Asia, but I'm not absolutely certain.

CANDYCE CLIFFT: Well, we just got word from Mission Control -- you're right over the central part of Australia, so yes, the South Pacific is accurate.

STERLING RIGGS: Scott, this question is for you. You shot a picture of Louisville, Kentucky from the space station on Derby Day, and you mentioned that you planned to watch the Kentucky Derby from space. Did you get a chance to see the Derby?

SCOTT KELLY: Yeah, we absolutely did. All six crew members that were here at the time got together. We set up the big screen and we watched the race live actually, on our TV system we have. It was a very exciting day. We didn't get to see any of the other Triple Crown races because of timing and such, but we did get to watch the Kentucky Derby.

CANDYCE CLIFFT: This question is for Mikhail. Our meteorologists let viewers know about space station sighting opportunities. What would you tell the people of Kentucky to think about when they see the station fly over?

MIKHAIL KORNIENKO: I'd like them to think about our friendship onboard the station -- very, very helpful, and good work aboard the station and I think it's very good example for our countries -- for each countries -- and how we can cooperate, and friends aboard the station. It's good example.

STERLING RIGGS:  For Scott: how long has it taken you to really get used to maneuvering -- in weightlessness if you will -- and could you please give us a demonstration?

SCOTT KELLY: Well, I've kind of felt like I've picked up where I left off, a little bit. But you always get better at it. But having had the experience of living up here for 159 days last time, I was in a pretty good spot. But the more time I stay here, the more comfortable I get and I can't imagine how comfortable I'm going to be over 200 days from now. It's probably going to be a pretty amazing level of adaptation.

CANDYCE CLIFFT: I want to ask you about New Horizon. It's so far away -- out in Pluto, flying past. What does that mean for us? What kind of things should we learn, and why should we be interested about what is happening so far away?

SCOTT KELLY: At 9 billion miles over nine years, it's really amazing that our country could launch a mission like that, and for it to be successful. It's something I'm very proud of. It's very exciting. I think understanding Pluto and our solar system and that planetary body which -- the planet that is the only one that the United States hasn't sent a probe to so far, helps us to understand our origins in the universe and where we came from. I'm sure that there's an incredible amount of data that we're gonna get, and understanding about our part of the universe and things that we're not even expecting, like all the stuff we've learned from Hubble. Hubble has been a huge success -- and when we launched it, we had no idea, exactly, what we were gonna learn. And we've just learned an incredible amount, so it's a very exciting time. I really want to congratulate all the people who worked on it. It's quite an impressive feat.

CANDYCE CLIFFT: Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, thank you both very much for joining us live from the International Space Station!

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