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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Connor Larsen Returns to the Magellan and Given the Directorship Under Questionable Circumstances. From the Archives: More Pictures from the Voyager Era. Aleta Thankful for Kitchen Help. James Porter Retires. Paws on the Roof. Space News. Theater Imaginarium.

Connor Larsen Receiving the Magellan's Set Director Microphone from Space Center Director James Porter
Notice the Look on Mr. Porter's Face. Is that a smile secretly passing a plea for help?

Connor Larsen Returns from an LDS Mission and Given the Magellan Set Directorship?!  Why Would Mr. Porter Surrender the Magellan Directorship so Readily? Did Connor Orchestrate his Meteoric Rise in Fortunes Before Returning? Is Their a Conspiracy Within the Ranks, Perhaps a bit of Skullduggery       
After a triumphant return from service in North Carolina, Connor is back at flight directing again. Mr. Porter was so over powered with the raw talent emanating from Connor that he nearly shriveled away into nothingness. Quivering, he weakly lifted the heavy mic and bestowed the title of Magellan Set Director upon Connor before a stiff breeze tumbled him down the street like a discarded used tissue.

"Congratulations to Connor, all hail the Magellan" was heard as Connor passed through the halls of Central Elementary, waving his microphone as a bludgeon to those would would try to rise up in his time of glory
(From Facebook) Author Anonymous 

     My thoughts: I want to congratulate the author of the post above, whomever it may be, for a bit of prose composed in true "Troubadour" style.  Writing the news in an imaginative "tongue in cheek" way has been the Space Center's style for the last 18 years. I'm encouraged to see a renaissance of that tradition in house and hope it continues.                     Congratulations on your appointment Connor and welcome home!  Your talents have been missed.  Lucky are the thousands of students yet to occupy our starship seats to have you as their flight director.  

Posts from the Past:  The History of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center
August 2002

Aleta Clegg is Grateful for the Extra Kitchen Help for the Last 48 Camp

August 3, 2002

I just wanted to say thank you to Matt Long., Licia Clegg, Keegan, and Josh Webbfor their help in the kitchen this last camp. Without them, there would not have been any food. I couldn't have done it by myself. It isn't the most glamorous job, but it was vital to the success of the camp. Thanks again for your help, 

Aleta Clegg

Aleta Clegg getting one of the camp's suppers ready to go

A summer space camp marches on its stomach.  Mrs. Clegg was our summer camp cafeteria manager.
The kids always had great meals - always all you can eat. Staff too.  Good times....

Space Center Journal:  The Summer Season is Over.  Thank you Everyone.  Goodbye James and Steven Porter, Josh Webb, and Jennifer Remy.  A Childhood Memory of Rebellion and Defiance.

August 4, 2002

Hello Troops,
A restful Sunday with a calm that comes from having finished the summer camp season of 2002. Time goes by quickly doesn't it? Didn't we just finish that first Day Camp in June?Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that I was worried about running Mercy Strike for the first time? 

Some of you older staff mentioned to me how quickly it all went by. Now you are beginning to realize what older people mean when they say time passes away - like a dream. Suddenly they find themselves older - with a home, companion, and children. Even more quickly they find themselves in the Autumn of life. Walking a bit slower, interests changing - finding greater joy in a sunset and a good book. 

Summer Camp
June 2007
The Odyssey Crew is receiving their mission brief and objectives.

At the end of our summer season we say goodbye to two wonderful people who have played a part in our lives. James Porter and Jennifer Remy will be leaving the Space Center and starting new chapters in their lives. James will be moving to Logan and attending Utah State University. He plans to work with Dave Wall on the PathfinderGood Luck James. 

Jennifer Remy will still come in from time to time to volunteer in the Voyager on overnight missions but feels the need to move on professionally. Her plans are not set in concrete. She says there are "opportunities developing." I'm excited to see Jennifer excel and wish her luck in whatever comes her way. I'll miss them both. I want to publicly thank them for their service to the Center, our staff, and our students and campers. Their talent and joy 
for education and children will be something I will remember about them
. Please take a minute and thank them for the time and dedication given. 

The Phoenix Crew
June 26, 2007 ready for their 5 hour mission rotation.

Soon we will also be saying goodbye to Steven Porter and Josh Webb. Steven has 
his mission call. Josh just put in his mission papers. Steven will be leaving in September. We've got a few overnight missions still to enjoy with both of them. 

I want to thank all of you for a fantastic summer. Thank you for the extra time you put in . Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you for creating a friendly atmosphere at the Center. Thank you for your willingness to go and do anything asked. I know I say this over and over but I'm blessed to work with our volunteers and staff. I have always said that the right people show up at the right time when we are in need. You all know I can't possibly thank all of you individually so please accept this as a personal thank you and pat on the back.

Three of the Odyssey's 8 crew ready for transportation into their waiting ship

 I've been asked by many what my plans are for the next two weeks. I know many of you think I need a break and are hoping I have plans for a vacation. I thought of traveling but instead have decided to stay home and enjoy the final days of summer without rushing about and driving endless hours only to discover once I get there that I'd rather be home. 

I'll clean out some closets and cupboards. There is the garage and yes....... the car needs to be washed. I washed it last in February.  I guess you can see I don't place my self worth in 
the car I drive. To me, the Saturn is a tool that I use to get from here to there. I don't take pride in my electric can opener but would seriously miss it if it stopped working. Now I'm not cutting people who see their cars as extensions of themselves. My dad is one of them. 

Back in the Day, the crew of the Odyssey controlled their simulator's lights themselves by using this panel
The panel was also intended to let them control their video feed.
A Childhood Memory of Defiance and Rebellion

Saturdays were, and still are, his car washing days.  Each of the family cars were taken, one at a time, to the car wash and driven home to be toweled dried, waxed, and polished. Interiors were scrubbed and of course - the finishing touch, the Evergreen Tree car freshener placed over the rear view mirror. As a child I felt I needed to untuck my shirt and use the shirt tail to open the door on Sunday morning to be sure not to leave fingerprints on the polished chrome. We sat still all the way to church and NEVER TOUCHED THE 
. It was a capital offense to defile those diamond glass windows sparkling in the sun. 

Inside the Galileo V.  Small but fun and mobile!

So, down the street we drove - cardboard figures sitting erect in the car with our hands in our laps. Dad sat in the driver's seat smiling and nodding to the neighbors as we puddled down 38th Street at 5 miles per hour to avoid kicking up a dust. 

One Sunday we were late for Church. It was a Sunday I'll never forget. The car was in the garage. We gently and tenderly entered the Rambler station wagon and sat with arms in place and heads facing forward. The last to enter was Father. He slowly opened the garage door to avoid unsettling the dust between the panels. He got in and started the engine. It didn't start. 

The Odyssey's interior and crew ready to go.  The Captain looks like he's having some trouble keeping the
crew focused and in control

We looked at each other somewhat worried. He tried again - success. He spun his head around and carefully maneuvered the car out of the garage. He glanced at each of us with the smile of a man about to display his high school football trophy to his daughter's prom date. The car rolled into the sun. 

Mother was the first to see it from the front seat. I remember a gasp quickly squelched with hand to her mouth. We sat up even straighter and looked forward past the Evergreen Tree onto the hood of the car. Dad turned and looked at Mother then followed her eyes to the hood of the car. The air turned green with the words he used. Even the baby stopped sucking on her pacifier. He jumped out of the car to deal with the situation, thus giving me the chance to lean forward between the seats to see the problem. Mother pointed toward the hood.  "The Cat," she whispered.

The crew of the Magellan on one of their 5 hour mission rotations.
June 2007, 48 Hour Overnight Camp.

Across the hood were the distinct paw prints of our black cat.  I sat back amused. Inky had the nerve to do something none of us dared - show the old man what we thought of that 1965 Brown Rambler. Dad found his yellow buffing cloth and went to work on the hood while at the same time looking up and down for the cat.  I sat back and, risking all, leaned left toward my own window. The cat had its turn and now it was mine. My index finder inched its way toward the window. My brothers and sisters watched, wide eyed with mouths opened wide. Success! That Sunday I touched the glass with my finger - down in the very 
corner out of his sight. For weeks and weeks it stayed there, surviving every wash and wax - always a reminder of a son's first act of independence and defiance. 

The Magellan crew mid mission. Problem to solve. Decisions to make.

How did I get started on that!? Oh yea. My Saturn and a can opener. Anyway........ 
It isn't often I share personal remberences but there you go. A glimpse into the life of your 
director - an opportunity to understand me. So, if you ever see my Saturn nice and clean you have permission to leave your fingerprint on any window of your choice.

Another thank you to those that stayed behind on the last day of the camp to clean up the school.  Have a great What's Left!

Mr. Williamson

The Magellan communications Officer
June 2007.
Space News
by Mark Daymont

Another Dragon, Another EVA for ISS

NASA Astronaut Ricky Arnold moves out of the airlock for his third EVA this year. NASA credit.
June was pretty busy for the crew of Expedition 56. With all of the maintenance and experiments performed by the six-person crew, you'd think they were busy enough! But no, they also had to prepare for a spacewalk and to make preparations for a new Dragon Cargo ship. On June 14, astronauts Drew Feustel (Expedition 56 commander) and Ricky Arnold (flight engineer) performed a6 hour 49 minute EVA to install improved HD camera equipment on the outside of the station.
Expedition 56 commander Drew Feustel led the 6th EVA of the Year.
The two spacewalkers  installed the HD cameras to help improve the view of the upcoming Dragon crewed ship docking and future Boeing Starliner crew vehicle dockings. In addition to the cameras, they moved some grab handles and performed some maintenance outside the Japanese KIBO module.

Dragon cargo spacecraft grappled by the CanadArm2 robotic arm. 
Following liftoff on Friday, and a three-day orbital chase, another Dragon cargo ship arrived at the ISS and was captured by robotic arm on Monday July 2. Astronauts Ricky Arnold, backed up by Drew Feustel, maneuvered the craft to dock at the US-built Harmony module. It carried science equipment, supplies, and biological experiments. Dragon is scheduled to stay at the station for about a month.

Parking is getting pretty limited up there.
With the arrival of Dragon, the ISS ports look pretty full. There are two Soyuz crew vehicles, a Cygnus cargo ship, a Dragon cargo ship, a Russian Progress cargo ship, and the inflatable Bigelow BEAM module attached to docking ports. Soon, however, we can expect further US-built crew ships (Dragon2 and Boeing Starliner) to be arriving for testing. This will make parking very interesting at the ISS!

Theater Imaginarium
The Week's Best Gifs from Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Summer 2018 Photo Album of Random Space Center Shots Presents: A New Magellan Navigation System, Jon Parker's UnKempt State (Shocking), The New Staff Shirt and the Rude Way it was Modeled. The Space Center's New Pharmacy Open for Business. The New Lanyards and of Course - The Imaginarium.

Summer 2018 Space Centers Photo Album
An Album of photographs taken here, there, and nearly everywhere someone would stop and pose. I travelled far and wide, visiting the Space Centers doing my best to catch the staff and volunteers in their natural habitats doing what they normally do - only more of it due to the randomness of my visits.  

A Random Stop at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center
Central Elementary, Pleasant Grove
June 27, 2018

I attempted to sneak into the Magellan Control Room undetected. My plans were thwarted by James Porter's Big Brother Security Camera Surveillance and Monitoring System.  There are cameras everywhere. Walk into the school and you're spotted.  Using the latest face recognition software under license from the Chinese Security Service - experts in Surveillance as they would be with the task of holding the communist regime in power - James can spot you, scan you, determine your blood type, pull up your police record, and on a good day with a clear shot, give you the number of cavities boring through your teeth's enamel.  

Needless to say, I was spotted.  The element of surprise lost.  The staff and volunteers were seated, posed, appropriately busy, and perfectly smiled.  Regardless, I walked in and took the shot.  

 What surprised me was Jon Parker's neglected condition. Just look at this poor assistant director, hunched over his keyboard, focused on his mission, semi-delirious, dribble finding its way from the corner of his mouth to the front of his staff shirt.  The poor man - so busy with private missions and camps that he hasn't the time to see to his personal needs.  Look at the state of his hair!  While I would give my back teeth and the last $10.00 from my savings account to have hair like his it just can't be.  Sadly deforestation and an infestation of pine beetles have thinned my once lush forest of hair into a landscape of shrub oak and tumbleweed.  I offered to cut it while he flew his mission.  A deep guttural growl stop me dead in my tracks. I dropped the scissors and back away slowly.    

The Magellan staff and volunteers were clever and, using Constellation font, wrote the name of the simulator above the flight station. I think it adds a nice touch.  

What's really special is what's underneath.  We know how the crew of the Magellan struggle with directions especially when navigating their simulator successfully through a mission.  Well, to make things easier, the staff painted a map of the easier constellations directly above them.  That way, if needed, the second chair (or a tall volunteers with a good sense of direction) can track the crew in space through their mission using a thumbtack. 
"Computer, where are we?" the captain asks.
"Quick where are they," Jon asks.  
Lissa glances up, "They're two inches from Gemini."
Jon as the computer, "The ship is two inches from Gemini."  

You see, the Magellan's new navigation system is flawless in design and efficiency - a model all simulators should follow.

Matt Robinson Models the Christa McAuliffe Space Center's New Staff Shirt  

Now don't you wish you owned one of these classy new shirts?  Sorry, you won't find them on any store shelve or online.  Amazon eat your heart out.  WalMart, give it a rest.  These shirts are issued to the few, the proud, the deserving staff of the CMSC.  Not even I, the founder and former director, can weasel one from James Porter. 

Knowing that, Mr. Matt Robinson gave me a smile for the record books.  He could see envy written across my face. 

The Space Center's New Pharmacy is Open

The Christa McAuliffe Space Center has a new pharmacy located in Mr. James Porter's office.  Where as before you needed to look in all the proper hiding places to find that bag of M&Ms,  now the pill dispensaries are on the wall in plain site for all the ship's doctors to find.  Where are the child proof safeguards?  Does the State of Utah know about this?  What about Starfleet Medical?  I don't think we need to worry about the authorities.  They'll walk in, take a look at the pills, then see that picture pasted above and without further questions, issue a license to dispense controlled substances.

The Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center has a New Lanyard   

And just when you thought this post hit rock bottom in the relevant news category we dig a bit deeper and show the world the new lanyards in use at the Space Center.  

There you go. You're caught up.  Now enjoy the Imaginarium below.

Mr. Williamson

The Imaginarium