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Friday, June 21, 2013

Over the Hill, and I've Got the Lanyard to Prove It. Space News. The Imaginarium.

My very own Space Camp lanyard is the newest addition to my collection of Space Center odds and ends.  

Last week I went to the Space Center to write a Troubadour post on the first summer camp of the 2013 season. Megan Warner had just signed in her last camper.  She stood in front of the assembled group composing her thoughts before opening the camp with her version of my 23 year old Welcome to Camp speech.  I watched from behind the red curtain.  I knew seeing me might cause Megan to break out with a serious case of nervous stuttering - the very purpose for my visit (that, and to highlight our Farpoint Cadets working the camp).  I stepped through the stage curtain and sat down next to a small group of boys. The campers turned and looked at me strangely. They were young and new to the Space Center.  To them, I was just a weird old man who looked like he was going to join them for the camp.

"Who's he?" one girl asked her friend.  They sat on the next riser down to my far right.
"He's not part of the workers.  He's not wearing one of their shirts," her friend answered while addressing my presence with an evil, protective eye.  

Megan smiled.  Refusing to let my sudden appearance throw her off her game, she went back to the sign in table, filled out a name tag, attached it to a lanyard, walked up the risers and gave it to me.  The look on the other camper's faces went from questioning to worry.

"Troops,  this is Mr. Williamson.  He started the Space Center a long time ago.  Everybody say Hello Mr. Williamson."  Megan's introduction replaced worry with smiles.  

"Hello Mr. Williamson," the group welcomed me enthusiastically.  Both Megan and Aleta smiled.  It wasn't a welcome, long time no see, smile.  It was more of a "we got ya" smile. Had I been sabotaged?  I looked down at my lanyard.  Megan had answered my sudden appearance with a well played shot of her own.  

Rank:  Infinite.
Points: Infinite.
Age:  Over the Hill.  

Good Job Megan.  Again, a perfect addition to my collection of Space Center memorabilia.  

Thank you
Mr. W.  

50 Years Ago: Tiros System keeps advancing

Duplicate of Tiros satellite used in public exhibitions across America.

It's worth remembering, so close to the beginning of the hurricane season, that we've only had weather satellites in orbit of Earth for a little over 50 years. On June 19, 1963, NASA launched TIROS 7, a 42 inch diameter, 270 pound marvel of 1960's technology. Liftoff was on a Thor-Able rocket from Launch Complex 17 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Thor-Able rocket. Forerunner of the Delta family of rockets.

Tiros 7 continued the use of two camera systems to record cloud cover and track storms, but also borrowed from an Explorer 17 satellite to include new measurements on temperatures in space and infrared reflections of solar and terrestrial radiation. It would last the longest of the many Tiros satellites, until June of 1968. On its first orbit, its camera 2 detected a cloud vortex over Newfoundland and within an hour had pictures transmitted to ground engineers for analysis.

By Mark Daymont
Farpoint Station Educator

The Imaginarium
Making the ordinary, extraordinary every day.  

What's happening on level 6?

Not exactly how I would describe the movie, but it works.

Creativity: A

The French Preparing for War

Taking Notes

Yep, summer school

Ready for museum display

An imagination alive and well.
We need more of this in everybody

Random things can make your day

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