Rolland takes the stage for Skylab interview

Esperance Museum cultural officer Lynda Horn alongside Esperance Primary School student and interview competition winner Konii Rolland Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Esperance Museum cultural officer Lynda Horn alongside Esperance Primary School student and interview competition winner Konii Rolland Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Esperance Primary School student Konii Rolland is set to take the stage to have her space questions answered after scoring an interview with Skylab astronaut Edward Gibson.

The interview was part of a competition being run by the Esperance Museum in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the space station's return to earth, which left debris scattered from Esperance to Balladonia.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Esperance Civic Centre will broadcast the prerecorded interview before it hosts the Australian Premiere of the documentary 'Searching for Skylab'.

A number of entries and interview questions were received and assessed by a panel of seven museum volunteers before being put to a vote.

The nine-year-old said she was astonished to find out that she had won the competition and that she was excited to take her front row seat at the screening.

"I entered because I thought it would be fun," she said.

"You were meant to have five questions but I actually had nine.

"I asked: Do you believe humans will end up living on Mars? What's the most beautiful thing you have seen in space? What is it like to be weightless?"

Konii said her parents were told that she had won the competition the day before, but remained tight-lipped until she arrived at school the very next day.

"On Thursday night, Lynda called my dad and told him about it," she said.

"In the morning, mum and dad said 'it's going to be a special day, Connie'.

"I think my principal knew, and my teacher as well.

"Lynda came in the morning to my school and we got some pictures together.

"I was so astonished. I have never really won anything before. I was really excited.

"It's the first time being at the front VIP."

According to Esperance Museum cultural officer Lynda Horn, the competition was the first of its kind to be run through the museum.

"As far as I'm aware, it's the first time that any competition of this nature has run through the Museum, especially something of international importance," she said.

"I don't think that the museum in its existence has had something so significant before.

"We're very excited.

"The volunteers have been very heavily involved with the program and having the opportunity to pick the winner for the interview was very exciting.

"They can't wait to see the interview themselves.

"Director Dwight Steven-Boniecki is actually coming to town to present the film.

"It's a really amazing film and I would encourage everyone to come along and have a look."

Ms Horn said the community would be treated to a number of events as part of the anniversary celebrations, including the Skylab Weekend at the Museum and the Skylab Styles competition.

The event will begin at the Esperance Civic Centre from 6pm on Thursday, July 11, and is free to enter.