Day 3 – Wednesday

Steven Forney honored us this morning with a presentation on the drones that he builds and programs. Steven is a Deaf technician that is a Rochester Institute of Technology graduate who has loved his experience with computer programming, 3-D printing, and building and testing his drones. His motto is “build it, fly it, crash it, rebuild it” which is a good lesson for us all, especially relevant for all things science. When proceeding through scientific tests, Steven inspired students to try their best, but also be alright with failures and tweaks throughout the process, as those will ultimately lead to a better final result.

Victoria Garcia is a Deaf, systems engineer who works for NASA. She gave a riveting presentation about her work with NASA, elements of communication that she implements every day, and the amazing work she’s done with the Orion capsule.

Victoria explained the effects of slosh dynamics which means paying attention to liquids that are utilized by a rocket, but can have an effect on the overall dynamics of rocket propulsion. Check out this great article for more information on slosh dynamics. Victoria also explained a rocket’s pogo dynamics, which is the vertical push and pull of the rocket as it launches and moves through our atmosphere and into space, which also is a large component of aerodynamic heating which is why rockets’ body must be efficient and aerodynamic.Itzel and I had the honor of being interviewed by Huntsville’s local news station, WHNT, and provided insight into the brilliant “classroom” that Space Camp provides, as well as the amazing linguistic components that the students experience. The story will be on the local news this evening.

The Von Lions team had their first mission today. As they prepped and got excited to begin, our 3 Von Lions astronauts quickly posed for a picture. In this mission, Itzel headed to the orbiter’s cockpit and helped with guiding the shuttle through space.AC and Khadija did a stellar job in mission control, communicating and directing the goings-on for the mission and keeping everyone calm.  While the Von Lions had their first mission, the Jolly Goddards proceeded to learn about the ISS and typical shuttle’s Environment Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). This system is tasked with removing excess waste, and recycling use-able waste. The students needed to create a filter that would neutralize a liquid’s pH, color and turbidity.

Did you know? Excess waste must be dumped while in the sun or it’d freeze to the side of the shuttle.

After the Von Lions finished their Alpha mission (successfully!) the Jolly Goddards took to Mission Control, the ISS and the orbiter to prove themselves in their Alpha Mission.      Alex safely returning from his Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) successfully repairing a damaged light fixture on the exterior of the shuttle.“Hi Mom (and all of USDB), I’ve safely returned from my EVA and it was GREAT!”  In their Bravo mission (that’s right, 2 missions in one day!) the Von Lions, after replenishing their energy with some lunch, carried out their responsibilities in proper form. Itzel and Khadija made rubber bouncy balls as their experiment in the ISS, just like ISS astronauts carry out experiments during their 6 month stays in the ISS.  AC communicated splendidly with the pilot as the commander and successfully guided the shuttle and its crew through a tough mission with many anomalies.As the Von Lions trudged through their difficult Bravo mission, the Jolly Goddards went to the Pamper pole which is a telephone with large metal staples, soaring to a peak height of 32 ft. After reaching the top, the Jolly Goddard members were asked to perch themselves atop the pole, turn around and jump to tap a nearby hanging rope.



  After both groups finished the Pamper Pole, the Jolly Goddards launched their rockets. It was a blast! 

After their rocket launch, the Jolly Goddards ate some dinner and headed to Aviation Challenge to continue their training as fighter pilots, and to prepare for their big “dogfight” tournament tomorrow. The students will be competing for a special award tomorrow… of luck to our USDB astronauts!




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