Visit to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit and for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Life on the New USS Voyager. Twenty Seven Long Duration Mission Squadrons. A Whole New Way to Fly. Theater Imaginarium.

Farpoint's 6th Grade Phoenix Squadron

The Farpoint Space Education Center's Long Duration Mission Program, A Whole New Way to Experience a Space EdVentures Simulation 

Hello Troops,
We are well into the new Long Duration Mission program at the Farpoint Space Education Center located at Renaissance Academy in beautiful Lehi, Utah; minutes away from Thanksgiving Point and Utah's Silicon Slopes.  Farpoint is home to the new USS Voyager starship simulator. Farpoint offers local students two after school space clubs: SpaceGuard and Project Voyager. 

Farpoint's 5th Grade Scorpion Squadron

SpaceGuard is the Long Duration Mission program (LDM) for grades 3 to 9.  Renaissance Academy has 250 students in the club - divided into 27 squadrons of 9 students each.  The squadrons meet five times during the latter half of the school year. We started at the end of January and will end in May. The cadets attend classes and go on missions in the Voyager. The LDM rotation consists of a training class, then the first half of a mission, followed a few weeks later by a debriefing with additional training, which is then followed a few weeks later with the second half of a mission.  The squadrons have a final meeting/ training in May. Next year Spaceguard will start in September - giving the squadrons more missions, trainings, and classes.  

Farpoint's 4th Grade Cobra Squadron

This method of flying is possible because Farpoint is a school centered program, different than the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center which serves over sixty schools in the Alpine School District.  The CMSEC excels in field trip operations, private missions, and camps.  Farpoint excels in the LDM methodology.  We have the ability to focus on a small number of students, giving them a prolonged exposure to experiential education through simulations.  We're exempt from the two hour rush required to put students through a short once in a lifetime school field trip mission. Because we serve just the students in our school, an LDM can last up to ten hours spread out over an entire school year, which is then repeated year after year throughout the student's tenure at our school.  A simulator reaches its full potential with this kind of program. 

Farpoint's 6th Grade Tiger Squadron's Commanders

We already see the results at Renaissance. Student reactions to their first missions and classes are contagiously enthusiastic.  Farpoint's sister center at Lakeview Academy in Saratoga Springs also operates an LDM program and has been doing so for three years to overwhelming success.  For schools with InfiniD Labs, the Long Duration Mission methodology is the curriculum and philosophy

Fairpoint's 6th Grade Tiger Squadron

Watch one of Farpoint's squadrons as they prepare to undertake their first mission on the USS Voyager. The Lion Squadron's members all come from my sixth grade classes. They're a great group of kids.


Theater Imaginarium
The best gifs of the week edited for classroom use.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Voyager's New Brig Activation System. Jon as the Ferengi in Cry from the Dark. Space News. 50 Years Ago. The Imaginarium

See the Voyager's New Brig Force Field in Action.  An Added Bonus. Watch Jon Parker Play the Ferengi. Classic

Watch a short video showing off the Voyager's new brig force field activation system. Isaac Ostler got it to work.  Cool is the word for it. The ship's security officers feel the coolness in every swipe of the card.

Also, I watched Jon Parker tell one of my favorite stories A Cry from the Dark. I couldn't resist filming the Ferengi part. Jon does my Ferengi character to a tee. A perfect, flawless rendering of the original. Jon is a great flight director. Seeing him tell my mission was another of those moments that reminds me why I'm in this business.


Space News
by Mark Daymont

50 Years ago: Lunar Orbiters Scout for

 Landing Sites

Lunar Orbiter Engineering Mockup.

Fifty years ago, in February 1967, NASA pressed on with the preparations for the Apollo missions despite the recent deaths of the Apollo 1 astronauts. The purpose of the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft was to photograph potential landing sites for the Apollo missions expected to occur within the next few years. This particular spacecraft, Lunar Orbiter 3, blasted off from pad LC-19 at Cape Kennedy (Canaveral) on February 5, 1967. 

Lunar Orbiter 3's ride: Atlas-Agena D.

The Atlas rocket was basically the same as those which powered America's first orbital manned missions. The Agena second stage was a fueled and powered-up version of the Agena target vehicles used during the Gemini program. The orbiter itself was built at the Langley facility in Virginia, recently featured in the movie, "Hidden Figures."

Liftoff from Pad LC-19.

Blast off took place before dawn and the rocket lifted the Agena into position where its motors pushed the spacecraft fast enough to defeat Earth's gravity. The Orbiter reached the Moon on February 8. The camera recorded lunar images from February 15 to 23. Over 500 images were taken.

Image from Lunar Orbiter 3.

Image quality was very good, so much so that one image managed to pinpoint the landing spot for Surveyor 1. The spacecraft stayed in orbit in a gradually decaying orbit when it struck the lunar surface in October 1967.

The Imaginarium