FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Koichi Wakata took time Thursday to talk by satellite link to students at his alma mater, Kyushu University.

Wakata’s image was projected onto a screen at the event site, where about 500 people, including students at the university as well as elementary and junior high school students, gathered. The students cheered as Wakata, in the zero-gravity environment, performed flips inside the Japanese laboratory dubbed Kibo.

Yuki Nagatomo, an 11-year-old fifth-grade boy, asked Wakata what happens when one sneezes in space. After offering a demonstration, the 45-year-old astronaut said, “It seems our bodies do not move much even when we sneeze or cough.”

Asked by Noriko Ishii, a 23-year-old engineering student at the university, what the fun part of being in space is, Wakata said, “Since I’m allowed to take days off in this mission, I would like to enjoy reading my favorite books while gazing at Earth.”

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