British Columbia

Penticton woman's space literacy program successfully blasts off

One year ago, Patricia Tribe watched the rocket carrying her project's payload of science equipment explode in midair. Now, the second phase of her science and literacy program, Story Time From Space, has finally taken flight.

Through Story Time From Space, ISS astronauts read books and perform zero-gravity science for children

The second half of Patricia Tribe's Story Time From Space project successfully launched this weekend aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, pictured here. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

One year ago, Patricia Tribe watched the rocket carrying her project's payload of science equipment explode in midair.

Now, the second phase of her science and literacy program, Story Time From Space, has finally taken flight.

Patricia Tribe watched the successful launch from her home in Penticton. (Story Time From Space)

The SpaceX rocket carrying the payload is set to dock with the International Space Station this morning. Tribe watched the weekend launch with nervous excitement from her living room in Penticton, B.C.

"When it launched, people started to cheer and stuff, and I'm sitting there just trying to listen to what the flight controllers are saying," Tribe said, laughing.

"[Finally] after about two and a half or three minutes into flight, I started cheering and did a little happy dance around the house."

A successful launch

Tribe was the director of education at the Houston Space Center for 13 years. Her project Story Time From Space sends children's books and equipment for related science experiments to the International Space Station. Astronauts then send video of themselves reading the book and performing the experiments back to Earth.

Twelve children's books are already aboard the station. Today's delivery contains equipment for astronauts to perform science experiments connected to the themes of the books — most of which are space-related.

Two of the books were written by astronaut Mark Kelly, and were read by his twin brother and fellow astronaut Scott, who recently spent a year aboard the station as part of a study on long-term space travel.

A number of the books have already been read aboard the ISS. In addition to the one embedded above, more can be seen on Story Time From Space's website.

With files from CBC Radio One's Daybreak South.

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