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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Space Center Legend Returns to Direct DSC Summer Camps. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space EdVenture Fans!
     Bracken Funk, a long time CMSEC flight director, returned to Utah from Hawaii with his wife and daughter last week.  Bracken has taken a job with DSim as the summer camp manager at the Discovery Space Center.  

Bracken during his high school years, in the old Odyssey with a few admiring campers
     Bracken graduated from BYU Hawaii with a degree in business education.  While at BYU Hawaii, he played on the school's basketball team.  Yes, you're right - Bracken was one of the Space Center's unique hybrids - SpaceGeek / Jock.  
     I asked Bracken to write a post telling you Troubadours a bit about himself and what he hopes to accomplish at the DSC.  His post follows.
     Welcome back to Utah Bracken.  You've got several fans who will be excited to fly with you again.

Mr. Williamson


Bracken, Flying his first DSC Atlantis mission on Tuesday.

Hello Troops,


My name is Bracken Funk. Some of you may remember me from The Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, and the various Private Missions, Overnighters, and Summer Camps at Central Elementary. My wife, daughter, and I have just moved back to Utah from Hawaii where I was in school, and I have recently signed on with the DSim team to help bring this incredible Educational Simulation idea that has been used only at Central Elementary, until recently, to as many people as we can. Educational Simulation is an incredible tool to help teach principles to students, and help to retain learning longer. I'm very excited to be a part of the DSim team. Can you imagine simulators in every school across the country? That's what we hope we can accomplish.

On top of working with DSim, I'm also working at the Discovery Space Center (DSC) to solidify our missions for everyone that comes to our program, as well as the various effects that we use. My job is to make your experience the absolute best when you visit our Center. I've also been given the title of "Master Chief Poster of All Things Blog Related", and that's why I'm coming to you now.

Now that the boring introduction stuff is done, I wanted to let all of you know that very exciting things are coming to the Discovery Space Center this summer. Our camps are already booking, and you NEED to get into the action. There is so much change happening every day to improve the experience our customers have when they fly with us. Today we built a new desk to give us more room in the loading bays, and in the works are brand new controls, brand new stories, and brand new stun guns. You heard it here first folks, brand new stun guns. You can't pass up on that, right?!

To book a mission, whether it be a private mission for your friends, or a camp mission this summer, all you have to do is go to our website at, and get a piece of this summer's action.

I'll work hard to make my posts at least half as entertaining as Mr. Williamson's going forward, but I am excited to meet and work with all of you, and hope that you'll come and visit us soon!

I'm back in the saddle again, troops. It's up to you to make it an amazing summer! Share this post on facebook, and tag us @ in your post sharing this with your friends, and you could receive up to 50% off your next mission. We'll announce our winner within the next week.


We are starting a writing contest for missions at our center. This next week (starting tomorrow) most of my job will have me writing stories, and making the visuals for them so that your experience will be AWESOME! Sometimes writers block and idea creation cause a story to stall. WE want to hear YOUR ideas for Discovery Space Center Missions. To submit an idea, here are the criterion:

We are looking for an ADVENTURE story, this means:
- No Monsters! This Mission is An Exciting Adventure With Plot Twists and Action
- No Spelling Errors! Have someone read over your story for you and make sure it is typed well. You may have a great idea that I will trash if there are too many spelling errors.
- Original! Meaning that we want it to be something created by you and only you, not something already done by someone else.

If you have a great idea, you can submit it to me at If your idea is selected, you will be part of the crew selected to come and test it for FREE! The winner will also be announced here.


Our team has spent a lot of time developing the known universe, trying to help all of our fans and friends understand what our universe is about. To read up and learn why Earth decided to colonize space, you can check out our AWESOME blog at: This blog tells you the stories that you can't hear anywhere else. Why did Earth result to colonization? How does warp drive work? Who is Admiral Faust? All of these questions and more can be answered on our blog.


Today was an interesting day at Discovery. I have been in Hawaii for a long time. I came home for a knee surgery in November of last year, and spent about three weeks flying at Central to keep myself busy. While flying today, I knew I was going to be rusty, but I didn't think it was going to be as bad as it was. One thing I have always prided myself on as a flight director is the way my computer responds to crews. Sometimes, when I get tired, my computer begins to struggle to say things. Today, I had a couple such situations. Mind you, I haven't done this in a while, and I was operating on one night of sleep in 72 hours- here are a few of the best "COMPOOTER'S BLOOPERS" for today:

"Now detecting a vessel that is detected firing weapons at this ship"

"That would require....... *long pause* transporters"

"Warning: the *omitting vessel name* is currently experiencing a reactor core breach. *omitting vessel name* will destroy in 3 minutes.

"Unknown. This computer doesn't do that."

A couple of mistakes today. I promise I'm working on it :)

See you in the Stars!z


Space and Science News

Expedition 39 Returns to Earth

Change of Command. Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata, right, shakes hands with the new Expedition 40 Commander, Steve Swanson for the official turnover of command.

On Monday afternoon, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata acting as the Commander of the ISS turned over command of the station to NASA astronaut Steve Swanson. After a six-month stay in space aboard the station, Expedition 39 came to an end on Tuesday when the 38/39 crew boarded the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft and undocked from the station's Russian-built Rassvet module at 6:36 PM EDT. Two and a half hours later the Soyuz began its de-orbit burn to begin re-entry. 

View from the Soyuz as it backs away from the ISS.

About 50 minutes later, under a large descent parachute, the Soyuz capsule touched down on the steppes of Kazakhstan. Recovery crews landed by helicopter and assisted the crewmembers in leaving the capsule and resting while being checked by physicians.


Up on the Station, Commander Swanson and his two crewmates will continue maintenance and experiment work while waiting for the next crewmembers to arrive, expected now on May 28th.

The Imaginarium

This is you younglings when you're old

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