Patriots speak to Needham astronaut on space station

FOXBOROUGH — Near the end of the Patriots’ open locker room session today, team owner Robert Kraft, punter Zoltan Mesko, and tight end Rob Gronkowski took part in a long-distance phone conversation.

How long? They spoke for a few minutes with Needham astronaut — and passionate Patriots fan — Sunita Williams, who has been living on the International Space Station since July. Williams could see and hear the Patriots, but Kraft, Mesko, and Gronkowski could only hear Williams during the call.

“That was pretty cool,” Kraft said, after handing the phone to Mesko.

Williams, a graduate of Needham High School, flew up to space earlier this summer from Kazakhstan, and is scheduled to return to Earth later this month. It’s her second stint living on the International Space Station.

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Gronkowski was the last member of the Patriots to speak with Williams, and couldn’t wait to ask her a question: “Are you floating right now?”

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