Thursday, August 7, 2014

International Space Camp, Part 4: One Last Orbit, Graduation, and Back to Earth

I'll admit it. I was a little sad to see it end.

Space Camp was an incredible week of learning, experiences, and teacher fellowship. There is no other experience I would have liked to have closed out my summer representing education in West Virginia. Our last day in Huntsville included some free time to visit the grounds of the Rocket Park and the Davidson Center. I had made short trips to these all week, but it was nice to go back and see it all one more time. I wish I could share every picture I took with you...but here's the highlight reel.

First, let's visit the Rocket Park one more time...
I know...but you haven't seen it from this angle yet!

Centaur G-Prime designed to be carried on the
space shuttle but was nixed after the Challenger disaster

Info on the Centaur

Another view of the Saturn IV replica

Skylab replica

Where's Berkeley?

View of the lunar module, Saturn IV, and Rockets
Now let's go back in the Davidson Center...oh wait! There were some exhibits in the building where they have the shuttle and lunar simulators, better go check those out while there's still the chance!
A space shuttle tire

The capsule that held Miss Baker and Abel

Berkeley in the Manned Maneuvering Unit

Okay, this was in the gift shop, but it's a space
shuttle made out of KNEX. I love KNEX and Legos,
so I had to take a picture of it.
Later that day, we heard from another astronaut, Bob Springer, who recounted his missions on the Space Shuttle. Dan Oates also shared with us the SCIVIS program (Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students). All of the components of the shuttle simulator and mission control can be modified so that blind and low vision students can participate in the same experiences as other students. There are even Braille panels that cover the inside of the orbiter simulator so they can "fly" the shuttle as well.

Bob Springer

Weightless Flights

Liquid Salt and Pepper in Space

Team Destiny with Bob Springer

By this point, we were all a little tired and sad to leave each other, but it was time for graduation. This is where we received our wings walked across the stage with our team. A special addition to our ceremony was each of the teachers receiving a 300,000 Hours Unmanned Aircraft Systems coin from the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal as recognition for our year of service.
Dorm mates suited up for graduation
It's time to graduate...but first, let's take a selfie :-D
Photo by Ryan Devlin, Pennsylvania TOY

Being introduced

Coin and wings

Team Destiny after graduation
With a few hours of daylight left, I went back to the Davidson Center to walk the length of Saturn IV once more and look at the exhibits one last time. Some of these pictures I took earlier in the week.
An actual Quarantine Airstream used by the Apollo astronauts

Inside the Airstream

Sleeping quarters

A peek inside
A replica of the inside of Skylab

Water filtration unit (I think)

Apollo Lunar Module

Not a great picture, but this is the computer or "brain" of the Saturn IV 

Where's Berkeley?

Didn't you know astronauts wore flip-flops
in the lunar capsule? (Just kidding)

And like that, it was mission complete and back down to earth. After squeezing all our mementos and memories into our suitcases, we enjoyed each other's company the rest of the evening until it was time to get some rest and fly home the next morning. We'll reconvene one last time as a group in Princeton, New Jersey in October. Until then, it's back to work, school, and deciding how to best direct these experiences into a new mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment