SANTA MONICA, Calif. - NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik used to walk the grounds of Santa Monica High School, but today, he is floating on the International Space Station.
To the thrill of students at the school, Bresnik and fellow astronaut Joe Acaba interacted with the students during a 20-minute earth-to-space call broadcast in Santa Monica High's Barnum Hall.
Each homeroom at the school submitted questions, and several students from each were picked to ask the astronauts.
"How did Santa Monica High School prepare you for space?" asked 12th grader Ifeyani Williams.
"What was the most difficult life skill (eating, bathing , etc) for you to learn to do on the space station?" asked Daniel Seizer, also a senior.
"Are your dreams different in space? The settings, abilities and activities for the characters in the dream, for example," asked 12th grader Paloma Nicholas.
A group of students who attended Lincoln Middle School last year, and also flew an experiment on-board the space station as part of the Student Space Flight Experiments Program Mission 11, wanted to know "What does space smell like?" to which Bresnik replied, "cream of mushroom soup."
Fellow astronaut Acaba provided a different answer, saying it was more of a metallic smell and the scent of the ISS was certainly unique.
Of course, the question of "what is it like to walk in space?" was asked as well.
"All your peripheral vision is just space and then all of a sudden when you look down, the only thing between you and the earth is your boots. That's when it becomes physically very, very real," answered Bresnik.
For students, the entire experience was out of this world.
"It was really amazing, once in a life time," explained Lily Dykstra ,who also got to ask the astronauts a question.
To see and engage with someone who was just like them, in a place unlike any other, gave them inspiration, said 8th grader at John Adams Middle School Ian Brown.
"(It's really cool) to know that you don't have to go to any special school or anything and you could be on the International Space Station...," he said.