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Space station film features at international event

A movie about a video conference between Manx school children and astronaut Nicole Stott on board the International Space Station has been used to open an international telecommunications summit.

The short film, entitled 'Out of this world – The first Manx astronaut', tells the story of the video link set up by Manx Telecom.

The video conference with the International Space Station took place on October 19 last year, when pupils on the Island gathered at the Manx Museum’s lecture theatre. The signal travelled from the space station via satellite to NASA's mission control in Houston and then to the Isle of Man, a distance of 159,000 kilometres.

Nicole Stott has strong Manx connections as she is married to Manxman Chris Stott who is chairman of Mansat, an Isle of Man registered company involved in space commerce.

During the video conference Nicole answered questions from pupils and wore a tee-shirt with Manx insignia especially for the occasion. She gave pupils a guided tour of the International Space Station, where she was based for three months.

Executives of Telefónica, the parent company of Manx Telecom, were so impressed by the film, and the link-up with NASA, that video of the event was chosen to open Telefónica’s largest customer summit on April 7 in Miami, Florida. The summit was for the CEOs of 900 multi-national companies and had Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell as the keynote speaker.

Telefónica executives were particularly interested in the educational angle and that the film was shot by primary school children from the Island.

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