We're Space Academy Graduates!
On our last morning at Space Camp, we got to raid the Education Resource Center for all kinds of freebies, including some amazing Mars posters. They gave us so many fun things to take home that we actually had trouble fitting them all in our suitcases!
After getting our goodies, we headed over to the IMAX theater to watch an amazing movie called Dream Big, which was an inspirational story about how young engineers change the world.
We then were presented with our final engineering challenge- we had to build a lander and a rover to deliver a payload (in this case, an egg) to the Martian surface. Our payload survived impact and travelled over 91 inches on the Martian surface.
The 1/6 chair was one of the highlights of the day! We climbed onto a chair that simulates 1/6th the gravity of Earth- just like you'd feel if you were on the Moon. Check it out in the videos below:
Having completed our Moonwalk, we got to spend some time in the shuttle Endeavor- Ms. Imhoff and Mrs. Craven worked hard to land the shuttle and get everyone home safely.
Now that we were safely back on Earth, it was time to graduate from Space Camp! Our group, Team Columbus, took home the "Best Mission" award for our service on the ISS and on Mars. Mrs. Craven also took home the "Right Stuff" award for exemplifying the spirit of an explorer.
Now that we're officially Space Camp Alumni, it's time to take our new learning back to Ashford! We can't wait to do fun Aerospace education projects during the new school year. Thanks for joining us on our wild week in Space, and stay tuned for more summer adventures soon.
Launching into Day 4
Day 4 was a blast...literally! We started the day by launching the rockets that we made in yesterday’s workshop.
Having launched our rockets, we went to compare them to the real Saturn Rocket hanging in the Davidson Center. While there, we also climbed in a model Apollo capsule that they used for the Moon missions, and saw the actual Apollo 16 landing capsule. There was a lot of history at the Davidson Center!
After rockets, we completed our next mission. Our goal was to launch the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS), build an additional structure out in Space, perform a crew exchange, and land the Space Shuttle back to Earth. Ms. Imhoff’s job was to perform an EVA where she hung from the ISS in order to build a structure. Mrs. Craven monitored the conditions onboard the ISS and the Space Shuttle to make sure that everything was functioning “nominally” so that the scientists onboard could perform all kinds of different experiments.
After our mission, we took the MAT (Multi Axis Trainer). This simulates what it would be like to take a tumble through space. Check it out below:
After a couple days at The US Space and Rocket Center, we are ready to get our hands dirty with Martian soil. Today we got to do lots of hand-on astronaut training.
First, we built model rockets. We don't get to launch them until tomorrow morning. Check back soon to see if Mrs. Craven's rocket or Ms. Imhoff's rocket goes the highest.
We also got to climb a rock wall replica of the Martian landscape. This week we have heard a lot about the "Mars Generation." Kids our students' age will most likely be the first people to live on Mars in just a few decades. Its really exciting to think that the students at Ashford School might have the opportunity to work on Mars.
Our simulated mission to Mars that we had prepared for yesterday was successful. At one point Mrs. Craven went on an EVA (extra vehicular activity). She needed to assemble solar panels on the red planet. Sometimes NASA uses nuclear power to power small machines like the original rovers that went to Mars. However, most of the power people use to survive on Mars will come from solar energy. Everyone was relieved when Mrs. Craven was able to successfully install the panels. Ms. Imhoff, the commander of the mission, thanked the team for all their hard work.