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Wednesday June 22, 2011

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


Space Academy- The Final Frontier

     Space Academy and CAP has unfortunately come to a close.  They checked in at my room this morning to see if my flight was still on schedule and it was one of the few that was because of weather.  They got a cab for me and I headed for the airport.  Checked in and worked on labeling all the pictures on my computer while I waited for my flight.  The plane coming in was running late so we started boarding about 20 minutes late.  Once we got loaded we were sitting and waiting when they came across and said we were too light in the cargo bay and needed more weight to counterbalance for take off and they had to get weights to put in the cargo bay.  About ten minutes later they came on and said the airport didn't have any weights so some people were going to have to get off unless their were some overhead bags that could be put down below.  Some of the passengers began to bring bags forward so I grabbed by extra backpack and they kind of looked at me like I was crazy.  Little did they know I had all of my NASA Space Academy resource books I had just received and my bag weighed over 15 pounds.  Needless to say we finally made weight and took off almost 45 minutes late headed to Detroit.

     We landed in Detroit around 10:15 and my plane was to depart at 10:45 needless to say I was a little worried.  Then we had to wait 15 minutes on the plane for a terminal jet-way driver to connect the tunnel.  At 10:30 I got off the plane and quickly looked to see what gate I needed next... of course all the way across the airport.  I took off on a dead sprint running down the terminal, running on the people mover, skipping stairs on the escalator, all carrying that 15+ lb. backpack that we had used for weight earlier.  I was about to give up and thought no, with all the weather who knew when I would get out of there again and I had the boys and Jenny to get home to so I kept running.  I got to the gate at 10:40 and the boarding door was closed so I told the lady at the counter I was suppose to be on that flight and my connecting flight had been late.  She said it was too late I would have to catch a different flight.  Just then an airport attendant came out the door to grab a checked bag tag and I asked if there was anyway I could still board and he said if I hurried so the lady took my boarding pass and said just grab any open seat!  THAT WAS CLOSE!!!!

     As I was trying to catch my breath on the plane I found out the guy next to me was from Cedar Falls so he too was connecting in Minneapolis to head back to Waterloo.  I knew we only had 45minutes between the flights, but at least we were leaving on time and better yet, I was on board!  As we approached Minn. we were put in a holding pattern because of weather for about 15 minutes, great it was going to be another close one.

     As soon as we landed the guy and his coworkers quickly got up and to the front of the plane so I quickly tucked in behind them.  As we got off the plane I checked an once again I was headed to the opposite side of the airport in less than 30 minutes.  At least this time I didn't have to sprint, just walk quickly and I made it.  The flight back to  Waterloo was fine and I was excited to get home and see the family.  As soon as we landed I quickly grabbed my stuff and headed to the door, I couldn't wait to see them.  I was the first one off the plane and was greeted by a hero's welcome.  There were the boys with a sign, flags, and a balloon.  It was great to be home!

     During the flight home I had a chance to reflect on what the whirlwind last week was all about.  Going into it I was really excited to try all of the simulations, and don't get me wrong they were AWESOME!!!  After the week, a lot of it was about the new friends I made and the connections with them.  The wonderful times we shared the new ideas and the many, many, many laughs!!!!  The networking was fantastic, I have cohorts around the world to draw upon.  The other thing that struck me was the knowledge I gained and my excitement to share it with others, especially my students.  To motivate the next generation of engineers, computer and technology experts, scientists, educators, trades people, explorers, and maybe even an astronaut or 2.  To walk with our heads up, eyes to the skies, and explore beyond the final frontier, after all.....Let's light this candle...It's time to take another walk!

Space Academy Adventure


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