“So Hopefully One of These Days I’ll See You All — Maybe Up in Space”

In early 2014, Lucas Whiteley, a four-year-old boy in the United Kingdom, sent some questions, including one about how many stars exist, to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for help with his science homework. NASA engineer Ted Garbeff sent back a 10-minute personalized video that was shown in an assembly at Lucas’ school. The video also gave a virtual tour of the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Lucas’ questions were sent on a video that he made with the help of his father, James, age 37. James Whiteley, an app designer, said, “When I was a kid, I wrote to NASA and got a brochure, so I thought we might be lucky if we sent a video of Lucas asking questions. What we got back three weeks later 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. Ted is a fantastic bloke to go out of his way for someone he doesn’t know on the other side of the world.” In his video, Lucas asked, “How many stars are there?” Mr. Garbeff replied that scientists estimate that 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars exist. In the video, Mr. Garbeff said, “It’s really a lot of fun being an engineer — you get to play with great toys all day and most importantly you get to learn about the world. It wasn’t easy, though, getting here, I had to work really hard. So remember to work hard in school and listen to your teacher.’ At the end of Mr. Garbeff’s video, he said to Lucas and his classmates, “So hopefully one of these days I’ll see you all — maybe up in space.”

For Additional Information: David Wilkes, “Nasa, I have a problem! Lucas, 4, sends questions to space experts… and the answer is out of this world!” Daily Mail (UK). 26 February 2014


For Additional Information: Sara Gates, “What Happened When A 4-Year-Old Asked NASA For Homework Help.” Huffington Post. 27 February 20143


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