Day 3 at Space Camp

The morning began with the Von Lions eating some scrambled eggs, star-shaped hash browns and juice. The students seemed to enjoy the warm nourishment and chatted lethargically as they woke up.  After breakfast, the Von Lions team headed to the Leo classroom and learned about the Environment Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) on the International Space Station. The ECLSS controls atmospheric pressure within the ISS to detect fire, suppress a fire if it occurs, to balance oxygen levels and to control waste management and water supply. The atmosphere of ISS if of the utmost importance, but the ECLSS also collects, processes and store water and waste produced by the astronauts. The ECLSS also removes methane from humans’ metabolic processes and, via activated charcoal filters, removes ammonia from the astronauts’ sweat. The Von Lions divided into teams and began brainstorming about how they could build the most effective water filtration system. The students had to utilize a coffee filter, set inside a funnel, then use various materials (noodles, rocks, pebbles, ammonia chips and activated charcoal) each team received 5 scoops of any of those materials, or a mixture of them to build their filter.

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Aaron and Ronnald got their space suits on and waited patiently for their Alpha mission to begin!

20140430-122525.jpgRonnald was one of the most hard-working Extravehicular Activity specialists that NASA has ever seen. He calculated the proper angles and communicated wonderfully with Mission Specialist 1 and 2. Meseret and Ari, after getting their ice vests on for thermoregulation, and donning their space boots, helmets and puffy white suits, they climbed through the airlock and confronted the issues on the exterior of their shuttle.

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Aaron and his partner worked hard on an exothermic (heat-releasing) experiment and created a foam that became hot and solidified, shortly after being catalyzed.
20140430-122604.jpgAfter their Alpha Mission (which went smoothly and all objectives were achieved!) the Von Lions team quickly went to a nearby auditorium for a special guest. The guest, Steve Forey is a very inspiring, Deaf RIT graduate who found his way through working with robotics. Now, as an engineer, Steve creates drones similar to how the Google Maps camera functions, utilizing global positioning satellites (GPS) to move throughout the world taking photographs while also providing a point of view perspective. His drone, though, functions like a helicopter and is autonomous when it’s outside and can receive a satellite signal (much like your phone).

20140430-201528.jpgAfter Miss Baker and Able were discussed yesterday, Aaron and Meseret’s interest was piqued and they had the honor of visiting Miss Baker’s grave, after she passed away on November 29, 1984 at a Auburn University veterinarian clinic due to kidney failure. She is buried at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center.

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20140430-201614.jpgAfter the engineer brought brilliant ideas and hopeful mindsets for the future to the astronauts, they proceeded to the Aviation Challenge grounds of Space Camp to learn how to fly an F18 flight simulator. The Von Lions counselor described the procedures for takeoff and landing in great detail, and then the Von Lions had their chance to fly!

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Dinner was delicious and all of the Von Lions were hungry from their hard work at Aviation Challenge, so they eagerly devoured their dinner and headed briefly to the Space Camp gift shop to find sweet treats and surprises for their families at home.

The Von Lions closed out their evening with another session at Aviation Challenge, learning how to use their onscreen radar to identify friendly and enemy planes, identify various targets to bomb, land at or fly by, and how to establish flying formations with their teammates. All of the Von Lions then challenged the Jolly Goddards (another Space & Aviation Challenge hybrid team) to dog fight, so the planes took to the air, engaged in barrel rolls, escape maneuvers and full throttle techniques and chased each other in aerial warfare.

Another successful day for the Von Lions team, they are excited for tomorrow, when they will complete their second and third mission, as well as use their learned patrolling skills to protect their army base from invasion tomorrow night!

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2 thoughts on “Day 3 at Space Camp

  1. it looks like you are having a wonderful time there! Hello from Warren, Benito, Fernando, Travis and Romeo!

    • Hi Benito, Fernando, Travis and Romeo! We all miss you and are excited to be heading back to Utah tomorrow. We’ll be sad to leave Space Camp, but we’re looking forward to seeing you on Monday!

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