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Friday, August 1, 2014

A Space Center Fan Designs a New Starship. The Imaginarium

Hello Space Center Fans,
     Miles Z. is a big time Space Center fan and has been so for the last three years or so.  He started attending camps at the young age of ten at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.  The Voyager was his favorite ship.  He's an intelligent young man with big dreams for the future.  

    He and his buddies (here's a shout out for Kip) have recently attended several camps at the Discovery Space Center.  A few weeks ago, just before bedtime (remember, I chaperon the space camps at the DSC) Miles asked if I'd be interested in looking at his starship simulator design.  "Send it to me," I replied.  He did and I was impressed.  Take a look.  

     Miles' design incorporates all the features we required in one of our ships.  I like the amount of room he has allocated to the stations.  I like the two levels.  It wouldn't break the bank to build it.  A design well conceived and thought out.  Good job Miles!
     I sent a few questions to Miles for this post.  His reply is below.
Hello again, Mr. Williamson,      

     I have attempted to reconfigure the bridge to become more wheelchair accessible.  According to the ADA requirements, an area that is to be able to house a wheelchair safely has to be 3 feet by 4 feet.  I have changed the stairs that led up to the topmost level to a ramp.  In addition, I moved the engineering access hatch into it's own separate nook so a wheelchair could fit in there.  I am still not sure as to how the bottom level can accommodate a wheelchair, due to the stairs that simply would not be functional as a ramp.  A solution I thought of was to put another "transporter" in the bottom level.    This would also serve as another entry point for "intruders".  As of right now, I cannot find a program that renders a 3-D perspective, but I am sure I will be able to find one.  
Here is some information:     
      1. I would like to call it the UCS Tempest           2. The approximate square footage of the revised bridge is 1,401 ft.            3. I do not simply like the space center.  I, like most of the campers at the DSC and CMSEC absolutely love the space center(s).  The greatest thing about the space center is the simulations, it is "Educating minds through the discipline of wonder" and that it provides everybody with the chance to make a difference. It doesn't just tell the story, it lets you be a part of it.             4.) I love the space center, and everything about it.  I wanted to be more than just a camper (I am hoping to soon become a volunteer and eventually a flight director).  I had an idea, and wanted to share it.           5.) I'd like to believe that by the time I graduate high school, I will be qualified enough to enter the Air Force Academy, and train to enter the operating Air Force as a fighter jet pilot. During breaks, I could hopefully travel to Pleasant Grove (A short flight from Colorado Springs) and work with the space centers.  After serving, I would likely try to become either a professional pilot, and engineer, or, if I am very, very, lucky get into NASA or Space x and serve as an astronaut.
Thank you so much for your consideration, 
Miles Z.

The Imaginarium

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back from South Dakota. Space Center Honors Night for Staff, Retired Staff and Volunteers! This Week in Science and Technology. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space Center Fans!
     Quite a change from a starship to a Ford Model A within the ten hours it takes to drive from Pleasant Grove to Deadwood, South Dakota.  

My brother-in-law and I out for an evening's drive in his Model A near Devils Tower, Wyoming
With a necessary stop to let the engine cool down.  There is no Warp Speed
with a Model A. 

     Life moves at a different pace in South Dakota.  In the cool of the evening, Deadwood's locals like to sit outside on their porches, smoke cigarettes, and strike up conversations with whomever happens to be walking by on the steep narrow hillside neighborhood streets.  
     My house in Deadwood sits on Williams Street, right above Deadwood's Main Street and business district.  I step outside my front door, walk down two flights of concrete steps, cross the street, walk down another small flight of stairs onto the top level of a parking garage, call for the elevator, descend four parking levels and step out onto Main Street to experience the energy of an old west gambling town.  Small western casinos line both sides of the street spaced with a myriad of gift shops, ice cream and salt water taffy establishments, and restaurants. Country western bands provide hours of free entertainment. Every night at 6:00 P.M. Main Street is closed for fifteen minutes to provide the tourists and locals with a good, authentic "This town ain't big enough for the both of us" western shoot out.
     We were in town for Deadwood's annual "Days of '76" celebration.  It's about the best celebration a town of 1,380 people can muster.  Deadwood offers a well attended and nationally recognized rodeo.  There is also the friendly small town parade you wouldn't want to miss (unless you were on a winning streak in one of the casinos).  It's a three song parade (meaning a band playing three songs back to back will cover the entire parade route) so it is held twice: once on a Friday evening followed by another the next day at 10:00 A.M.  I watch both, Friday's from the steps of the Franklin Hotel and Saturday's from an outdoor table at the Pump House Coffee Shop where I enjoyed great company and a blueberry bagel washed down with a delicious fruit smoothie.  We all got a kick watching the kids dodge legions of horses hoofs to snatch up the handfuls of candy tossed by multiple rodeo queens and other celebrities. 

My local watering hole
No floats, but several horse drawn hearses. 

And of course, what's a parade without your local mailman?
  I'm back after seven days in Dakota.  The Black Hills are amazing; the people friendly and welcoming.  The air smells warm with ponderosa pine and burr oak.  I'm already missing my front porch on Williams Street and the characters I call neighbors - but all is well.  I can return when time permits and sanity demands.

Mr. W. 

Take me Back to the Black Hills of Dakota.....  

The Deadwood Stage....    

The Space Center to Host Honors Night for Staff, Retired Staff, and Former and Current Farpoint Voyager Volunteers 

What: CMSEC Honors Night
When: August 5, 6-8pm
Where: CMSEC Discovery & Gym
Who: Staff and volunteers

It is time for an honors night.  Perhaps not the same format for an honors night that we have done in the past but at least a chance to celebrate our summer which is quickly wrapping up and to send off a few who are moving on.  Here are the scarce details and more are likely to come, but I wanted to give enough time for people to reserve the date.

One of the big things we will be doing is auctioning off some prizes and CMSEC memorabilia.  The auctioning will be based on the votes that have been accumulated over the summer.  We'll figure out something for our paid staff to be able to participate as well. There will be some light refreshments and a few games as well depending on time.

This Honor's Night  will be an opportunity to catch up with old friends and see what has changed.  With the sad closure of the Voyager we have had to pull out most of the items within so there is nothing but a shell.  The good side to that is we want to give you a piece of her to remember.  20+ years of collecting has left us with some interesting finds.  Part of our event is to thank the volunteers for their work over the summer and the other half will be to give away bits of history.

So join us at the space center on August 5th from 6-8pm.  Help us by passing this along to any of our old staff that you happen to stay in contact with.  For those who aren't too aged a small amount of time will be left at the end for those wanting to participate in the classic event of Bombardment.  Former paid staff please RSVP as we will be providing a small amount of refreshments.

CMSEC Volunteers,
If you volunteered for us this summer please join us for the event mentioned above.  We will have specific items and honors for your efforts to get passes and performances in the ships. The space center can't function without your efforts and we want to show you our thanks. Again, join us on August 5th from 6-8 pm at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.

James Porter
Director, Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center

This Week in Science and Technology
By Sci-Tech

Science Summary of The Week

➤ HIV DNA cutting:
➤ Feathered dinosaurs:
➤ Sixth mass extinction event:
➤ Alien pollution:
➤ Universal cancer test:
➤ Biological amplifier:
➤ Human genome:
➤ Google research:

Technology Summary of the Week

➤ SpaceX:
➤ Quantum computing:
➤ Optical Fiber:
➤ Retinal imaging:
➤ Electricity:

The Imaginarium