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NASA help boy, 4, with his homework by sending him 10-minute video tutorial

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  • Lucas Whiteley sent questions to NASA for help with science homework
  • NASA engineer Ted Garbeff sent back 10-minute personalised video
  • Also gave him virtual tour of their California base
  • Lucas was thrilled and video was shown in school assembly
  • NASA engineer said he hoped to 'see him space soon'

By Bianca London

PUBLISHED: 09:26 EST, 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:08 EST, 26 February 2014

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A four-year-old science boffin has become the star of his class after getting NASA to help with his school project about space.

Four-year-old Lucas Whiteley sent three questions to the experts in America. Lucas asked: 'How many stars are there in space?', 'Who came second and third in the race to the Moon' and 'Have any animals ever been to the Moon?'

The little space enthusiast was thrilled when they sent back a 10-minute personalised video.

That's out of this world! Lucas Whiteley, pictured with his father James, received a personal response to his space-related questions from the experts at NASA

That's out of this world! Lucas Whiteley, pictured with his father James, received a personal response to his space-related questions from the experts at NASA

NASA engineer Ted Garbeff answered all of Lucas's questions, as well as giving him a virtual tour of his California base.

Father James Whiteley, 37, of Roberttown, West Yorkshire, explained that he filled in a contact form on NASA's website around a month ago.

He said: "We were just expecting a brochure or something in reply, and we got an email back soon after saying that someone would reply to the questions as soon as possible.

'After about three weeks we had a reply from Ted - and Lucas was absolutely thrilled. He had a huge smile on his face, and he couldn't wait to get to school and show all his friends.

'They had a special assembly at school and got Lucas out in front of all the other children - he's been very popular at school after this.'

At your service: NASA engineer Ted Garbeff responded with a 10-minute video answering all four-year-old Lucas's questions

At your service: NASA engineer Ted Garbeff responded with a 10-minute video answering all four-year-old Lucas's questions

Guided tour: Ted Garbeff gave a virtual tour round his base in California and answered little Lucas's questions

Guided tour: Ted Garbeff gave a virtual tour round his base in California and answered little Lucas's questions

Whoooosh! The NASA engineer used models of his rockets to help answer the questions for Lucas's school project

Whoooosh! The NASA engineer used models of his rockets to help answer the questions for Lucas's school project

Chuffed: Father James was over the moon, saying it had been 'the most amazing response to my son's questions'

Chuffed: Father James was over the moon, saying it had been 'the most amazing response to my son's questions'

Mr Garbeff told Lucas about the vast number of stars in the universe, using the number of grains of sand on our planet's beaches as a benchmark to convey the amount. .

The engineer added that it had been hard to get his job at NASA and urged Lucas and his classmates to listen to their teachers, before signing off and saying he hoped to see them all 'up in space one day.'

Teachers at Sunny Hill Primary in Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, were so impressed they showed the video in assembly.

Father James, an app designer at digital agency twentysix, said: 'When I was a kid I wrote to NASA and got a brochure, so when Lucas was doing a project on space I thought we might be lucky if we sent a video of Lucas asking some questions.

Close to the action: NASA space expert Ted also talked about animals in space and which countries came second and third in the race to land on the moon, which was one of Lucas's questions

Close to the action: NASA space expert Ted also talked about animals in space and which countries came second and third in the race to land on the moon, which was one of Lucas's questions

Transatlantic message: The engineer was filmed giving a tour of the base and advised Lucas and his classmates to listen to their teachers, before saying he hoped to see them all 'up in space one day'

Transatlantic message: The engineer was filmed giving a tour of the base and advised Lucas and his classmates to listen to their teachers, before saying he hoped to see them all 'up in space one day'

Space fanatic: James said: 'When I was a kid I wrote to NASA and got a brochure, so when Lucas was doing a project on space I thought we might be lucky if we sent a video of Lucas asking some questions' - lucky they were
Space fanatic: James said: 'When I was a kid I wrote to NASA and got a brochure, so when Lucas was doing a project on space I thought we might be lucky if we sent a video of Lucas asking some questions' - lucky they were

Space fanatic: Lucas' father James said: 'When I was a kid I wrote to NASA and got a brochure, so when Lucas was doing a project on space I thought we might be lucky if we sent a video of Lucas asking some questions'

Science enthusiast: Lucas is fascinated by all things science and space so was obviously thrilled when he received the message

Science enthusiast: Lucas is fascinated by all things science and space so was obviously thrilled when he received the message

'What we got back was amazing. Obviously Ted has thought about his audience and gone to a lot of trouble just for them.

'Ted is a fantastic bloke to go out of his way to do something for someone he doesn't know on the other side of the world.'

Mr Garbeff said the video had been 'super fun' to make, 'especially as Lucas asked such great questions.'

He added: 'I'm always happy to talk about NASA.'

Thrilled: James said the video was 'amazing' and added that Ted had thought about his audience and gone to a lot of trouble just for them

Thrilled: James said the video was 'amazing' and added that Ted had thought about his audience and gone to a lot of trouble just for them

Personalised: Mr Garbeff said the video had been 'super fun' to make, 'especially as Lucas asked such great questions'

Personalised: Mr Garbeff said the video had been 'super fun' to make, 'especially as Lucas asked such great questions'

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