• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.


Monday June 20, 2011

Page history last edited by Monteith 9 years, 9 months ago



Space Academy Day 5

     Graduation day for the 2011 Honeywell Educators Space Academy.  Before we get there, we still have some other business to take care of like, breakfast.  Once again a nice hearty meal with eggs, sausage, potatoes, fruit, juice, and milk.  Then if was off to a station challenge of Thermal Protection.

     This was one of my favorite sessions because it brought some of my favorite things together, hands-on, inquiry based, creativity, a challenge, and fire!  We were looking at how when given copper, tinfoil, and a brass bolt, how could we keep the bolt from heating up with a butane torch and thereby releasing from the hot glue holding it in place.  Today I had the opportunity to work with 3 ladies from Mexico and 2 from the U.S.  It was interesting working with other nationalities this week and working on communication in order to accomplish a task.  First we had to come up with a plan which took us a while to make sure we were all on the same page and had an understanding of each other.  As a result of a longer communication time, we had less time to build.  We put it together with multiple layers of alternating materials and air spaces in between.  Our mission lasted just over 14 seconds, we were not real satisfied with the results and instantly began to investigate and analyze the poor results.

     After everyone tested theirs (I believe the longest time was around 2 minutes and 45 seconds) we talked though our results and talked a little bit more about what thermal heating is and how it effects spacecraft as they re-enter Earth's atmosphere.  Then we received new materials to try again, and rebuild, redesign, change, and improve our last design.  Once again we had some very good discussions and finally decided on creating a copper loop by creating hooks with the copper and using the tinfoil as a deflector all while keeping the shield close to the flame.  Upon completion we were the 1st team to go and retest our new design.  We started the torch and timer and watched as our time reached 15 seconds and continued to climb over 3 minutes at which point the experiment was stopped because we had reached the 3 minute time limit and there were no signs of failure.  Success!!!

     Then we had a speaker from Nasa and a chance to go over and watch an IMAX movie about the Hubble Telescope.  Next came lunch again, as good as ever, and then it was time to go and launch our rockets.  I loaded onto the bus and went over to the launch area prepared to launch both our liquid powered water bottle rocket and our solid engine model rocket.  I first prepared the model rocket by inserting the engine, igniter, and packing the parachute.  Then I went and placed it on the launch pad and stepped back behind the firing line to wait my turn.  I watched as several of the first rockets soared the the sky and watched the parachute deploy and float down, several of them into the trees, onto the road and a few back on the field.  Finally it was my turn and I approached the firing bored, in the words of Alan Shepard "Let's light this candle!"  We started the 10 second countdown and 3,2,1 I pressed the red button ready to unleash the rocket temporarily from gravities grip.  I heard the hissing of the engine as it scored skyward leaving a smoke trail behind it.  Climbing higher and higher and thought in the words of Dr. Von Brown, "Go baby go!"  Watching as the rocket reached it's apex the thrust is now giving into the forces of drag and gravity and I watch intensely waiting to see the red and white parachute will properly deploy.  Suddenly there is a slight pop and a plume of smoke as the rocket separates and the chute deploys.  Gently the rocket descends from the sky as I watch to see if the rocket will be come a casualty to the rocket-eating trees, will it become a road target, or will it land on the grass of the earth safe and sound.  It touches down next to a street sign in the grass no worse for wear.

     The next test is to see if our water bottle rocket will fare as well.  We unfortunately did not have time to properly weight and balance our rocket, but were forced to continue on with the launch.  After watching several of the rockets spin out of control because of the delicate dance between the weight and thrust the team makes a last second decision to add weight in the nose cone.  We do not have the proper clay so improvise by adding a pine cone astronaut as cargo to weight the nose.  Our team assembles at the launch pad after filling the rocket just under half way with water.  We begin to pressurize the rocket ready for launch when it is pointed out that one team member may want to lean back so his head is not directly over the nose cone.  We reach approximately 90 lbs of pressure and it is time to release the trigger mechanism.  I have a great video of what happens next and words don't do it justice, but I will do what I can.  The rocket pops off the launch pad as the pressurizing person dives to the left, the rocket begins to ascend skyward, the launch pad falls over, in the commotion all that is heard is, "where did that go?"  After a brief pause and scan of the sky, we hear a soft landing of the rocket and using the famous Apollo 11 quote by Neil Armstrong "The eagle has landed."  Unfortunately when you have a pinecone as your astronaut, the "eagles" home is in the top of a pine tree.  However, let it be said, "It was great while it lasted!"

     We returned back to the education center at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and it was time to play with toys.  We looked at and played with toys that were the same as what they had taken to space to experiment with.  We watched some video clips and did some comparison and contrast on earth and in space.  Then it was time for the Mercury Project and constellations.  We discussed the current Mercury orbiter mission and what to look forward to in the future and what pictures we are receiving.  Then we had an opportunity to create a constellation using our name in a grid pattern.  After creating the star pattern we had to decide what the constellation was, and what the information and myth of our constellation was.  We proceeded with the fun part of creating a large planetarium out of black plastic and you could see your constellation among all the rest in the sky.

     After supper it was time to graduate.  We assembled in the auditorium and heard from a Honeywell representative, and then each team was presented to graduate.  Each team had their mission patch they created earlier in the week displayed in the front and shared their explanation of it.  The team leaders spoke of the week and then we were announced one by one to receive our graduation packet and space academy wings.  Then it was time for the ceremonial flipping of the name tag.  Team Zarya will forever be known as the team who worked together, never gave up and had a humorous, and good time accomplishing our goals!

Space Academy Adventure

                         <------                 ------>

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.