Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Day Four - Rocket Launch!

Today we toured the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, in the Saturn V hall, under the impressive Saturn V rocket. The fully loaded Saturn V launch vehicle with the Apollo Spacecraft stands 60 feet higher than the Statue of Liberty on its pedestal and weighs 13 times as much as the statue. We then went into the capsule simulator, which showed the command panel display including 24 instruments, 566 switches, 40 even indicators (mechanical), and 71 lights. We had a closer look at the space suits that the astronauts had to wear to protect them from the hot and cold, and radiation particles.

We then visited the Imax Movie theatre, to watch the documented launch of the first space shuttle launched into space. The Space shuttle Columbia took off in 1981. In American style, I purchased a giant popcorn and soft drink, even with two people drinking and eating, we only got a third of the way down.  

After the exhilaration of the Columbia’s safe landing, we were given a host of teaching resources! Fun lesson plans to encourage students learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM).

Now the bit that we had all been waiting for! The Launching of our rockets. Our rockets were ignited and zoomed into the air. Sadly because of gunpowder laws I am unable to bring back my rocket – however, the NASA team know this, so have assured me that they will provide me with a new, unopened packet to bring home! YAY!  

Astronaut training – with simulated moonwalk and center of gravity simulator. I can not tell you how much fun this was. The moonwalk was not as easy as you think – moving up and down was fine, but going anywhere else took a lot more skill. I could of played (Whoops…trained) on this all day. The Center of gravity simulator made me laugh so loud, I just had to go on it again!

I then faced my greatest fear……going on the Space shooter. This shoots you high up into the sky and then you bounce back down again…not quite the tower of terror, but close to it. As it sends you up – you lose gravity at the top for a few seconds. I then rode on the Graviator! This spins you round and round and round at a G Force of 3. The first monkeys that went into space experienced a G Force of 32. Neil Armstrong experienced a G Force of 16. But still only a few of us Educators were brave enough to do it. I would like to thank Connor, Curtis, Ciara, Casey and Cameron for making me go on a similar ride over and over again at Dream World! This one I was not scared of!

Our final activity of the day was to create a Luna Telescope station. We were assessed on our presentation, our finances, and our creativity! I think we did rather well! 
Astronauts Sheva and Mark

Our team designed this Badge to represent
Team Columbia - See if you can work out
what it is suppose to represent and why?