To infinity and beyond the call of duty for NASA...

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SPACE-MAD schoolboy Lucas Whiteley is over the moon after a NASA engineer produced a 10-minute video in response to his questions about stars and space travel.

Four-year-old Lucas asked the American space agency three questions with the help of his dad but they didn’t expect a detailed reply.

4 year old Space mad boy Lucas Whiteley from Robberttown, Liversedge.24th February 2014 SH1001/152h..Picture by Simon Hulme

4 year old Space mad boy Lucas Whiteley from Robberttown, Liversedge.24th February 2014 SH1001/152h..Picture by Simon Hulme

The questions were passed to NASA engineer Ted Garbeff who put together a video addressed to Lucas and his school friends.

The video includes a tour of Mr Garbeff’s workplace in California and contains detailed answers to Lucas’ tricky questions.

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

His dad 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.

“What we got back 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 to do something for someone he doesn’t know on the other side of the world.”

Mr Whiteley, who lives in Roberttown and works in Leeds for a digital and marketing firm called twentysix, described the video as “the most amazing response to my son’s questions”.

Mr Garbeff explains in simple terms how many stars there are, using grains of sand on the world’s beaches to give pupils an idea of the vastness of the universe.

He also answers questions about animals in space and which countries “came second and third” in the race to the Moon.

Mr Garbeff tells pupils it was hard getting a job with NASA and urges them to listen to their teachers.

He says: “I really enjoy working at NASA because I get to play with great toys. I had to work really hard in school. Listen to your teachers and work together with people in your class. One day I will maybe see you all up in space.”

On making the video, he added: “This was super fun to make, especially since Lucas had such great questions. I’m always happy to talk about NASA!”

* Watch the video at

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