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How NASA Went Above and Beyond to Help a 4-Year-Old Boy With Homework

March 1, 2014
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How NASA Went Above and Beyond to Help a 4-Year-Old Boy With Homework
NASA
The agency took a few minutes to teach a child about space and likely fostered a lifetime of love for science.

Did you know that when NASA isn’t too busy discovering planets or launching rockets into space, they also give homework help? That’s what little Lucas Whiteley discovered after he recently asked the rocket scientists for some help for his science project.

As the Telegraph reports, Whiteley filmed his three questions for the space agency and sent them off via email. Three weeks later, he got a very detailed response from NASA engineer Ted Garbeff. Garbeff personally answered the 4-year-old’s questions about how many stars there are in the universe (about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), who came in second and third in the race to the moon (Russia and China), and if any animals have been to the moon (No). He also included a 10-minute tour of NASA’s facilities on their Mountain View, Calif. base. (You can read the Q&A and watch the vitural tour here.)

MORE: Can This Six-Year-Old Get Us to Mars?

Lucas was, well, over the moon and even showed the video to his school during an assembly. His father, James, told the Telegraph, “When I was a kid I wrote to NASA and got a brochure, so when Lucas was doing a project on space I thought we might be lucky if we sent a video of Lucas asking some questions. What we got back was amazing. Obviously Ted has thought about his audience and gone to a lot of trouble just for them.”

“When I sat down to watch it with Lucas he had a big smile on his face,” he added. “Ted is a fantastic bloke to go out of his way to do something for someone he doesn’t know on the other side of the world.” Here’s to inspiring the next generation of astronauts.

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