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Sign language from space

American Sign Language (ASL) has been given a boost from an unlikely source – the International Space Station.

Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson delivered the space station’s first address to the deaf community – a six-minute video for deaf children. The video aims to give children a glimpse of what life is like as an astronaut, with Caldwell Dyson also discussing what inspired her to learn sign language.

“Long time ago, when I was a young university student, I met a girl who’s deaf; she’s same as me, a sprinter on the track team,” Caldwell Dyson said in ASL, according to a NASA translation. “So she taught me how to sign.”

In a separate interview, she also said:

“Ultimately, this isn’t really about me learning or knowing ASL,” Caldwell Dyson said. “This story should be an avenue for deaf students from children in kindergarten to college undergraduates to doctoral candidates to see themselves belonging to this amazing thing called NASA and participating in scientific research and space exploration.”  (Source: MSNBC)

To watch Caldwell Dyson’s video from space, click here.