Sunday, June 20, 2010
Personal Log 2: Adrian Stevens, Entry 2
I slammed the cover of the replicator shut. Everything checked out perfect, but the hamburger deluxe still tasted of fresh strawberries, not flame-broiled beef. The light in the cafeteria flickered off. I slumped against the wall in the sudden darkness. Find the spy, ha! Admiral Williamson was delusional if he thought I could find anything on the ship. The Voyager was a mess. Nothing worked properly. Half the crew were on report at any given time. Captain Herring locked himself in his quarters for days on end, refusing to talk to anyone except Lieutenant Bradley.
Rumors of mutiny floated in the air. Mutiny against the Captain, not Starfleet, although if the Admiral was right, someone wanted the Voyager in Del Brugado’s pink-gloved hands.
The lights blinked back on. I collected my scattered tools.
Turner, my assistant, poked his head through the door to the empty cafeteria. “Adrian? The replicators on deck ten are delivering charcoal lumps.”
“Do they taste like strawberries?” I stuffed tools in my pockets. “We can’t get any replacements until we make Starbase 89 in another day or two.”
We walked together to the lift. Turner shot suspicious glances at the crew, clustering in small groups in the hallways. Officers stopped whispering as we passed. We stepped into the lift. The door slid shut.
Turner watched the lights flicker past. “This ship is cursed.”
I nodded agreement. Williamson’s warnings about not trusting anyone echoed in my head. Was Turner part of the conspiracy? He couldn’t be. He had less access than I did. How the Admiral expected me to find his spy was still a complete mystery.
The lift slowed, then changed direction.
I frowned. “We’re not headed for deck ten. We’re going up.”
Turner punched the stop button. The lift continued moving. He hit it again. “Stupid messed up piece of junk! Top of the line ship, ha! Nothing works right.”
I pulled a screwdriver from my pocket. “Let me at the controls.”
“And get us stuck here for the next six hours? I know how you like to abuse door controls.”
“Get out of my way, Turner.”
Turner crossed his arms. “Report me for mutiny. I dare you. I don’t want stuck in the lift with you. It’s still moving so it’s not broken. It’s just not going to deck ten. We can take the emergency ladders once it stops.”
As if on cue, the lift slid to a stop. The doors opened on a dim laboratory space with a clear dome ceiling. I craned my neck, watching stars as I exited the lift.
“Where are we?” Turner asked, staring overhead.
“Auxiliary Astronomical Observation Deck.”
We both looked to the far side of the room. A thin woman nervously chewed her fingernails. Her lips twitched in an imitation smile. “Hello, Adrian.”
“Vasha.” I greeted her. “I thought you were transferred to a planetary posting.”
She shoved a stray strand of hair behind one ear. “Captain Herring refused to sign the transfer papers.”
“Access ladders are over here.” Turner opened a hatch.
“The lift didn’t malfunction,” Vasha said. “I programmed it to bring you here. I trust you, Adrian. I need your help.”
Turner closed the hatch.
Vasha chewed her lip, watching me.
More intrigue. I hated playing games with people. I shoved the screwdriver back into my pocket. “What do you need, Vasha?”
“They’re filing charges against Captain Herring, conspiracy and piracy. He’s going to be court-martialed when we get to Starbase 89. I can’t let that happen. He doesn’t have a choice.”
I studied her face. “You know something about the mutiny or about the sabotage to the ship?”
She nodded. “Someone is trying to use the Delphi AI to control the ship.”
“They wiped the memory banks. Several times.”
Vasha flicked a glance at Turner. “They have a corrupt copy they keep installing. I don’t know who or I’d stop them. Del Brugado is holding Captain Herring’s sister and her family hostage. The captain has no choice but to do what the pirates tell him.”
“Why haven’t you told someone, like Admiral Williamson?”
Vasha shrugged. “I have no proof. Not yet. But I have a plan to help Drew, I mean the captain. I need your help.”
“How can we help? We run the kitchen.”
“I saw what you did last time, both of you. You can help.”
“Do what?” Turner asked.
Vasha pulled a data chip from her pocket. “This is the real Delphi protocol. I tweaked the programming.”
“We’re going to use it to take over the Voyager?” I couldn’t hide the skepticism in my voice. “It didn’t work last time.”
“But it did,” she corrected me. “It just took longer than I expected to fully integrate. And we aren’t taking over the Voyager. It’s too big. No, we’re going to rescue Drew’s sister and her family. You are going to help me steal the Odyssey. And Delphi is going to make it possible for us to fly it.”
I saw insanity in her eyes as she smiled. “Would you rather be shot in the mutiny that will happen tonight?”
Great. Steal a ship or get caught in the crossfire in a mutiny? Either way, my career and possibly my life were over. I accepted the lesser of the two evils.
Vasha dropped the data chip in her pocket. “Right now.”
Friday, June 18, 2010
It's 11:35 P.M. on Friday, June 18. I'm at my computer. The door is open into the Voyager in front of me. I hear faint laughing from the Crew Quarters. I'm guessing Jon and Todd are telling stories before going to lights out. I hear the sound of two air conditioners. I hear air exiting the vents in the ceiling directly above the Transporter leading to the stage.
It's quiet now. No more laughing. They must be going to bed. The junior high staff are tucked away in the Odyssey to my left. They are either asleep or watching a video or two on their ever present ipods. The senior high male staff and volunteers are in Discovery. I'm sure they're not asleep. I gave them until midnight to talk.
I spoke too soon. Loud laughter now from the Crew Quarters. Jon and Todd are in true form tonight. I'm surprised they've got the energy. This was swimming and video night. Several of the campers were sound asleep and had to be woken up to go to bed when the video ended at 11:00 P.M.
I'm hearing two boys climb the ladder to reach the Captain's Quarters and bed. It's 11:43 P.M. now and story time must be ending.
This has been a wonderful camp. We have 41 campers, twelve of whom are on the joint Astrocamp / CMSEC six day camp. The kids are kind, courteous and respectful to the staff. They are sci fi fans and enjoy their time in the ships. They were excited to watch an episode of old Classic Trek. We watched "Balance of Terror".
One of the boys is tapping the plastic window pane looking out of the loft and into the Briefing Room where I'm sitting. I think he wants my attention. I'm typing so I'll ignore him. I can't see him anyway due to the glare of the reading lamp to my left. The beds in the loft are creaking. The boys are moving. That is the one downside to those loft beds. Every turn is accompanied by the creaking of wood.
This camp ends at 3:00 P.M. tomorrow. We will be sad to see this group of campers leave. We will be excited come Monday evening to greet another new set of campers for our next EdVenture Camp.
11:52 P.M. My pad is waiting on the floor, my shoe is in the doorway keeping the door into the hallway partially open. I'm tired...........but there are a few other housekeeping things I need to do while on the computer.
Yes, you could say the night is lovely, dark and deep but I have miles to go before I sleep.
Nodding in and out of consciousness, I am,
OK, message received. We've heard comments critical of the lack of posts on the Blog lately. I'm guilty as charged.
Good News, Aleta Clegg, published author of the new book Nexus Point (www.nexuspoint.info) and Space Center Educator and Digitarium Director has graciously offered to create a new installment in her Adrian Stevens series from last summer.
Please enjoy this new installment in the life of Adrian Stevens.
This story is just for fun. Any resemblance to the staff at the space center is intentional. Any resemblance to a real space center mission is your imagination.
Personal Log 2: Adrian Stevens, Entry 1
Admiral Williamson leaned back, his chair squeaking. “How is life aboard the Voyager, Stevens?” He watched me as if I were a bug under a microscope.
I shifted my weight, uncomfortable in the tight Starfleet uniform. “Fine, sir.”
“Really?” He arched one eyebrow. “You can speak freely, Adrian. I want an honest answer. If I wanted a politically correct asinine answer, I would have asked Lieutenant Bradley.”
I searched for a polite way to frame my answer. “Stressful, sir.”
Williamson tapped his steepled fingers against his chin. His air of benevolence didn’t fool me. He was the meanest admiral in Starfleet. He let silence hang between us, heavy and dense. I resisted the impulse to loosen my collar.
“You’ve learned some discretion. Admirable trait. But right now, I need answers. I need the truth.” His chair thumped forward. He fingered a stylus lying on his immaculate desk. “Have a seat and tell me the full truth, Adrian.”
I dropped into a chair. “You want everything, sir?”
“Every piece of dirty laundry. Your report won’t go beyond this office.”
I started with something safe. “The computer glitches in the ship are driving everyone crazy. Ever since Captain Herring activated the Delphi protocol, nothing responds right. They’ve wiped the core a dozen times and reinstalled everything, but within a day or two, the problems are back.”
“What kind of problems?”
“Doors opening and closing on their own, locking and unlocking at random intervals, lights shutting off. Nothing that would jeapordize the safety of the crew. One of the engineers, Larsen, reported voices in an empty corridor last week, but everyone thinks he’s nuts anyway.” I frowned. “The replicators are off, too. Everything tastes like strawberries.”
“That could be worse. Everything could taste like fish.” Williamson tapped the stylus on his desk. “And Captain Herring, any odd behavior?”
“No worse than before, sir.” I shifted on the hard chair. “I’m not the one to ask. I’m not privy to his conversations or his messages. I cook the food.”
“And keep the inventory lists. Captain Herring ordered enough computer chips to completely replace every system on the Voyager. Why?”
I shook my head. “There are only the regulation spares on the Voyager, sir. If he ordered that many, I’d know.”
“He deviated from his assigned route last month. Twice. The Voyager made unscheduled stops at two colonies near the Klingon border.” Williamson’s fingers tapped rapidly on the desk, the stylus clattering. “The complement of arms aboard the Voyager does not match the manifest. Half a dozen quantum torpedoes are missing, along with most of the hand phasers. Where are they?”
I swallowed hard. “I have no idea. I don’t inventory weapons. Lieutenant Bradley is responsible for those.”
Williamson leaned forward, lowering his voice. “There is a spy in Starfleet, one working for the Fellucian Marauders.”
“And you think he’s on the Voyager?”
“I’m positive that he, or she, is part of the Voyager’s crew. You are in a perfect position to find the traitor, Stevens.” The admiral’s steely eyes bored into mine. “I want a name within the week.”
I nodded. Guilt lay heavy in my belly. I’d suspected something, but not this. After our encounter with Del’Brugado and the Fellucian Marauders, I’d come to respect Captain Herring. I’d never like him, though. And I’d never have believed he would betray his command. But deep down, I knew something was wrong.
“I want you to find information, Stevens, no matter where the trail leads. I need to know who is leaking information to the pirates. Every move we make, every ship we send, it’s as if they know exactly what we’re planning before we even send the orders.”
“You suspect Captain Herring. How do you know it isn’t me?”
Williamson smiled, cold and calculating. “You said yourself you don’t have the right access.”
“But the captain works for you. Doesn’t he?”
“Go find me a spy, Adrian Stevens. And watch your back.” He set the stylus on his desk. “I hear Del Brugado plays for keeps.”
Thursday, June 17, 2010
There is a bright green comet is streaking across early morning skies this week.
Comet McNaught C/2009 R1 has been steadily gaining brightness and will be most brilliant through June 16, during its closest approach to Earth at about 105 million miles (170 million kilometers) away.
Some predictions say the comet—best seen from the Northern Hemisphere—could be at least as bright as the stars that make up the familiar Big Dipper constellation.
C/2009 R1, already visible to the naked eye as a faint, fuzzy ball low in the northeastern sky, is best seen in the hour before the sun rises, said Anthony Cook, an astronomical observer at Los Angeles's Griffith Observatory.
"Because it has a hazy outline, it should be observed from as far away from light pollution as possible," Cook said.
(Read about a green, two-tailed comet seen in 2009.)
"Between now and the 24th of June, it's visible in a moon-free sky, but after the 26th it will be too close to the sun to see."
Comet McNaught's Superlong Tail Promises Flashy Show
The intensity of brightness seen in comet McNaught C/2009 R1—named after the Australian astronomer Robert McNaught who first spotted it in September 2009—only occurs once every four years or so, Cook said. (Learn about the "age of comets.")
Another comet also named by the astronomer, McNaught C/2006 P1, put on a spectacular show in 2007. It was later discovered to be one of the biggest and brightest known comets.
As C/2009 R1 nears the sun, its ice melts, releasing gas and dust that stream away into space. (Explore an asteroids and comets interactive.)
This reaction forms a distinctive blue tail of ionized carbon monoxide stretching a million miles (about 1.6 million kilometers) long. Through binoculars, the tail appears about the same length as the width of the full moon in the sky.
Meanwhile, the comet's nucleus is only a few miles across, with a surrounding glowing greenish cloud of gas that is about 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) across—roughly the distance from Earth to the moon.
Monday, June 14, 2010
It's Monday evening. So what am I doing at the Space Center at 9:35 P.M.? Why, running an Overnight Camp. Why else?
The Space Center's working schedule is all Topsy Turvy in the summer time. Without school schedules to work around we can offer our camps throughout the week.
This summer I organized the schedule so we could have one overnight camp and one EdVenture camp (3 day camp) per week with numerous private missions running whenever we aren't running camps. It keeps us busy, and busy is a good thing. Being busy means a steady flow of income and the summer season is where the Space Center makes most of its yearly operating budget. Remember, the Center doesn't receive a yearly budget (except for my salary) from the District. We must raise our operating budget ourselves.
Tonight's camp started messed up. The camp register showed 43 campers. By the time everyone was signed in we had 48! Our normal max. for all camps is 45. We were over our max by three. Four campers arrived one month too early. Their Confirmation Forms said July 14-15. Of course, I didn't look at the month on their forms, I only saw the 14-15. I assumed they had the correct forms and that Mrs. Clegg forgot to put them into the computer when she enrolled them. It wasn't until she pointed out the fact that the word "July" was on the paper and not "June" did I realize their mistake and mine for not catching it when the camp started.
Regardless, we were at 48 campers and 45 was our max. To solve the problem, I decided to have the Voyager, Phoenix, and Galileo tell 2.5 hour private missions instead of five hour missions. The Voyager can handle twelve for a private mission but not for a five hour mission. The three ships are telling their short missions now. At 10:20 P.M. the campers will switch ships and get to do another 2.5 hour mission. We used to do it years ago whenever we had more kids in the camp than planned for.
I can hear the Voyager crew on the other side of the door in front of my desk.
"Go Go Go Go!" a young boy's voice is commanding. The Voyager crew is crammed at the Stage Transporter Door waiting their turn to enter the Stage on the other side to do their "Away Team" experience. Orion Pirates are in the ship. They plan on making their "Last Stand" on the school's stage. Not as rustic as Little Big Horn but it will do the job.
I'm loving this cooler weather in Utah. It has been good for us, as long as it warms up by Friday. We are running our second EdVenture Camp this Thursday - Saturday. We go swimming Friday night. Highs in the 60's doesn't make for good outdoor swimming. The weather will cooperate. It should get into the 80's this Friday. Perfect for the pool.
Zac is running the Magellan for this camp. He is telling the Magellan's new story for the first time. Brittney and Nicole are his supervisors and hand holders to help him get through the parts he doesn't know.
I hear the Voyager crew again. They are returning from the Stage. From the excitement in their voices I can tell they were successfully able to defeat the invading Orion Pirates and keep their ship under their control. Those darn Orion Pirates. Mischief makers throughout the entire known galaxy!
I think I hear someone walking on the roof of the school. Kids sometimes get up there and walk around. Boy will they be in for a shock when I emerge from the hatchway in the light of the pale moon..........
Monday, June 7, 2010
It's 9:20 P.M. by the clock above the Odyssey's emergency exit. We are a couple hours into our first EdVenture Camp for the 2010 Summer season. I'm yawning. I'm tired. I've been plugging away since 9:00 A.M. and have several more miles to go before I sleep. I'll be here a total of 50 hours before I go home, and that's just the start of the week! I still have full days of private missions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday along with another Overnight Camp Thursday night. Oh yes, its summer and that means I'm hear around 80 hours per week.
I'm paid for 40 hours and gladly donate the other 40 hours to the Center. It isn't proper to direct a non profit organization so dependant on volunteer help without setting the example and volunteering myself. So, Space Center Volunteers, Mr. Williamson is right there in the bunkers with you fighting the good fight and doing what he can to make the Center a success. Volunteerism is the life blood of the Center and I'm convinced the best way to lead is by example.
But, I'm asking for your 'understanding' if you come in and I'm not myself. You might find me slumped back in my chair asleep in a very Peppermint Patty way, or you might find me catching a few winks in the library. I've got a pad right by the Odyssey Control Room door so I can lay there and still track the missions and the campers. You might find me wondering aimlessly through the school looking purposeful (but in reality - quite befuddled). Wish me a good day. If I don't respond then take me by the arm and lead me back to the library and tell me to lay down. I should be right as rain in a few minutes.
Today I spent most of the day pondering over the working schedule, climbing up and down the ladder in the Custodial Closet to get to the school's roof to check on air conditioning. I discovered the Gym's AC was working (the compressor was doing its job) but wasn't putting out the air. The custodian and I found the reason. The belt driving the fan was too lose to turn the fan to deliver the cooled air.
The camp started at 7:00 P.M. We've got 34 campers. They are in their first short rotation (a 3 hour mission). I'm listening to the Phoenix crew debate with the ship's engineer about the impulse engine. The Phoenix is always the loudest ship. The poor captain has come out three times. He claims it is too intense. We stop tonight at 10:30 P.M. for ice cream and then bed. I've got just under an hour to go. I'm not sure I can make it. I think I'll take a walk through the school and then stretch out for a minute or two in the Library and listen to the Odyssey mission.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
SpaceX is a private company under NASA contract to build the rockets needed to carry supplies and astronauts into space. Remember the Space Shuttles are due to be retired after a couple more launches.
This weekend SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space. This paves the way for the commercialization of space. This is a good thing for the American tax payers and I believe will open the door for a vibrant and active Space Program for the future. A career in the space industry might just be a possibility for the youth of today.
The following is an article on the launch and a short video.
It was history in the making that could have a huge bearing on the future of US spaceflight. The commercial space company SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket on Friday, with what seemed to be a picture-perfect lift-off and flight. The Falcon 9 rocket performed magnificently (at least from initial reports), hitting all the flight parameters precisely on time. The SpaceX team overcame delays for telemetry problems, a boat that unknowingly sailed into the restricted zone of the launch range, and one last-second launch abort on an earlier try. The team then successfully recycled the engines and sent the rocket off on a beautiful launch. Video from the rocket in flight was streamed online, showing the stage separation and engine cutoff, with a view of Earth in the background. UPDATE: Spaceflightnow.com reports that SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage and dummy Dragon capsule achieved a nearly perfect orbit during today's dramatic blastoff, hitting a bullseye of the orbital target. The apogee, or high point, was about 1 percent higher than planned and the perigee, or low point, was 0.2 percent off the target. The Falcon 9 blasted off at 2:45 p.m. EDT (1845 GMT) from launch pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air
The nine Merlin engines, fueled by liquid oxygen and RP-1 kerosene rocket fuel, provided a million pounds of thrust, sending the rocket to orbit in just over 9 minutes.
SpaceX was shooting for the Falcon 9 to reach a circular orbit 250 kilometers, or 155 miles, high and an inclination of 34.5 degrees.
On the video, it is evident the rocket experienced a slight roll, which was not expected.Having a rocket succeed on its maiden voyage is quite unusual (it took the Atlas rocket 13 tries for success), so the SpaceX team has to be extremely pleased with not only the rocket's performance, but the team's ability to overcome problems and press on with a successful launch. 180-foot (55 meter)-high Falcon 9 carried a mock-up of SpaceX's Dragon capsule. With this success, the next flight may be a flight to the International Space Station to practice docking techniques — it won't actually dock, but practice approach. If that goes well, the next flight might actually dock and bring supplies to the ISS.
Congratulations to SpaceX!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
MOSCOW (AP) - An international team of researchers in Russia on Thursday began a grueling simulation of a flight to Mars that will keep them locked in a cascade of windowless modules for 520 days _ the amount of time required for a journey to the Red Planet and back to Earth.
While the experiment, conducted jointly by Russia, China and the European Space Agency, will not involve weightlessness, it will try to tackle some of the psychological challenges of a real flight to Mars _ particularly the stress, claustrophobia and fatigue that a real space crew would face during interplanetary travel.
The six-member, all-male crew _ consisting of three Russians, a Frenchman, an Italian-Colombian and a Chinese _ expressed confidence that the mission would be a success.
Diego Urbina, the Italian-Colombian member, said the mission would mean "accomplishing dreams about the future, doing something that no human has done before."
Psychologists said the simulation can be even more demanding that a real flight because the crew won't experience any of the euphoria or dangers of actual space travel. They have also warned that months of space travel would push the team to the limits of endurance as they grow increasingly tired of each other.
Well aware of this hazard, crew members equipped themselves accordingly. For instance, French participant Romain Charles said he was bringing along a guitar so he could entertain the other team members.
The main task of the Mars-500 experiment, conducted by the Moscow-based Institute for Medical and Biological Problems, will study the effects of long isolation to better understand how a real space crew should cope with stress and fatigue.
The facility for the experiment is located in Russia's premier space medicine center. It is comprised of several interconnected modules with a total volume of 550 cubic meters (about 20,000 cubic feet) and a separate built-in imitator of the Red Planet's surface for a mock landing.
The researchers will communicate with the outside world via Internet _ delayed and occasionally disrupted to imitate the effects of space travel. They will eat canned food similar to that currently offered on the International Space Station and take a shower once every 10 days _ mimicking space conditions. The crew will have two days off in a week, except when emergencies are simulated.
The ESA said the crew will also regularly play video games as part of the agency's project to develop personalized software to interact with crews on future space missions.
Other crew members include Sukhrob Kamolov, 32, Alexander Smoleyevsky, 33 and Alexey Sitev, 38 _ all Russians _ and Wang Yue, 26, from China.
For mission captain Sitev, the experiment means separation from his wife just a few weeks after the two wed. When asked about marital repercussions, he tried to put on a brave face.
"I'll tell you that it's difficult for me to part with my family, just as it is for any other person," he told journalists just before the experiment began.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
May 23, 2010
Just about any amateur astronomer can tell you the basics about Jupiter. It's the fifth planet from the sun. It's got a Great Red Spot on its lower half. And it's encircled by two prominent brown stripes. Well, check your telescope tonight and you'll find that one of those stripes has gone missing — and scientists aren't entirely sure why.
Amateur astronomers raised the alert about the fading stripe last fall. The giant planet ducked behind the sun for a few months over the winter, and when it came back to the morning sky, the dark band in the Southern Hemisphere was gone.
"This is not the first time this has happened," says Kelly Beatty, senior contributing editor for Sky and Telescope magazine. He tells NPR's Guy Raz that particular stripe goes missing every 10 years or so. In fact, it's disappeared about 18 times since the turn of the 19th century.
He suspects that the stripe may not actually be missing at all. Unlike the Earth, he explains, Jupiter doesn't have a solid surface. "What we see when we look through a telescope is a planet-wide cloud deck surrounding the entire place. So these two bands, which are kind of like racing stripes around the midsection of Jupiter, are dark bands that have a different composition than the other clouds around them.
"What scientists think has happened is that some kind of disturbance has taken over in the Southern Hemisphere and created cirrus clouds, maybe, that [have] completely enveloped the planet and covered this band with a high, thin blanket that will eventually go away," he says.
So Jupiter's southern stripe might just be hiding. How long until it reappears, nobody knows. "It could be six months from now," Beatty says. "It could be two years from now."
One thing's for certain, he says: "There are amateur astronomers around the world with their eyes glued to their telescopes in the hope that they will be the first to be able to see the beginning of the return of the south equatorial belt."
Jupiter's disappearing belt wouldn't have been noticed so quickly without those hobbyists, Beatty says. In fact, in astronomy, the pros depend on the amateurs to sound celestial alerts.
"There aren't enough professionals to keep track of everything going on in the universe all the time," Beatty says. "So in a sense, they rely on amateur astronomers — who have very good equipment, by the way — to actually keep an eye on things."
"When they see something, they notify the professionals, and the big guns get swung over to take a look."
If you'd like to join the watch, Jupiter's easy to spot just before dawn. "If you're just eyeballing the sky," Beatty suggests, "it's a bright star in the eastern sky. It's the only star that bright anywhere nearby; it's very obvious."
"If you have a pair of binoculars," he adds, "you'll see that Jupiter's actually a little disk. If you have a small telescope, you'll be able to see not only this disk, but the two stripes across it — or what were the two stripes. You'll only see one."
Beatty admits he kind of misses the second stripe. "I kind of miss the symmetry of it, because it tells me that there is order on Jupiter."
"Right now, the fact that that one belt is missing, it's like a missing tooth. There is disorder on Jupiter — and we just don't know why."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Your business is in the running to be a nominee in this year's Parents' Picks Awards on Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect.com. To secure the nomination, be sure to have your clients/fans nominate you (http://www.parentsconnect.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Monte Vista Elementary's last two sixth grade classes finished our 2009 - 2010 school year field trip program today. The bus arrived at 2:00 P.M. and departed at 6:00 P.M. The students did the mission "Supernova". Lorraine taught the classroom and Aleta and Lorraine did the Digitarium presentation. Yes, you read that right, I wrote Digitarium. The Space Center's brand new $27,000 portable planetarium is here and is it something wonderful! Aleta and Alex A. spent the last several days learning how to operate the computer and projector. It is more complicated than our old Starlabs but what a picture! It's color, and because the projector displays a computer image we can show everything up on the dome a computer screen will display. This will open the door to new and exciting planetarium presentations.
I took a few snapshots of for the scrap book as our way of officially saying goodbye to a good year. We have a small overnight camp tomorrow night (Thursday). We will be hosting students from Idaho. We have another overnight camp on Friday with students from Ridgeline Elementary School. We have a few down days for summer prep, then reopen on June 4th and 5th with a full slate of private programs. Our first EdVenture Camp starts Monday, June 7th.
This is how you get in and out of the Digitarium. The kids are blurry because Mrs. Houston unzipped the dome (there is no tunnel like the Starlabs). We have to let 5 out at a time so the dome doesn't loose all its air. When she says "Move" they move!
The last student is out and Lorraine is zipping up the dome for reinflation. Mrs. Clegg is still inside working on a few bugs. The Digitarium is complicated and will take some time to learn all its functions.
The students are lined up ready to go outside for a snack before their science lesson in Discovery.
The students get a 15 minute break on the school's east lawn. This picnic area represents the work of two boys for their Eagle Scout Projects.
After their snack, the students go to Discovery for their science lesson. Mrs. Houston was their teacher today.
Mrs. Houston, at her station waiting to provide chills and thrills with a lesson on the light spectrum.
While one class is in the Digitarium and lesson, the other class is in the simulators.
The Voyager crew is receiving last minute instructions from Emily, their flight director.
Zac is the waiting to go to the Voyager Bridge. He is the Bridge Officer for this mission. He makes his grand entrance when Emily leaves for the Control Room.
It is 6:00 P.M. and time for our last field trip to depart. This is the end for the school year 2009-2010. A great year!
And now I rest after 18,253 students. A new 19 year attendance record. Please do not disturb.........Shhhhhhh