It is another busy week at both Space Education Centers. The CMSEC (Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center) starts another of its famous Ultimate, 3 Day Camps this evening. The DSC (Discovery Space Center) started its first 48 Hour Camp last night. Three day Galaxy Camps are the norm at the DSC. They run about nine hours short of a full 48 hour camp.
This week's 48 hour campers are pictures above. Todd Rasband, my partner chaperone, and I have 27 boys ranging in age from ten to fifteen years old in this camp. Many are serious space campers, having been to both space center numerous times. The boys were pretty good over all last night. I had them all quiet and asleep except for the olders teens by 12:30 A.M. Who knows how long the 14 - 15 year olds stayed awake. I put them in the room furthest away from the rest of the boys to give them a bit more freedom on their lights out time.
Only one middle of the night bloody nose to report. We got that squared away. He didn't bleed out. They were exhausted from the Black Ops military training exercise and slept right up to the 7:00 A.M. wake up time.
I'll be back there tonight because its the season of summer camp adventures.
Summer Pictures from the CMSEC
I stopped at the CMSEC and found a few things which may be of interest to our inquisitive Troubadour readers. Megan was flight training Tabitha in the Phoenix. That wasn't unusual. Cross training flight directors is standard practice at both space centers. What is of interest is who else I found in the Phoenix control room. Look closely at the shadowed figures. That's Jake H. in the second chair position and Spencer S. as the ship's doctor. Jake and Spencer are two outstanding Farpoint Voyager volunteers who are never seen outside the Magellan. I didn't know what to make of it. "I thought it was time to bring them into the Phoenix and show them the right way to run a mission," Megan said. "Too much of working with that Magellan staff can dull the senses of any young volunteer."
Nathan was the Odyssey's flight director assisted by another of our Farpoint cadets, Nolan W. Nolan likes working Odyssey second chair.
If you look closely at his computer screen you'll see why. Nolan gets a real kick out of spinning the notorious Dice of Doom, found only on the Odyssey's ship controls. The Dice of Doom are used whenever the flight director needs to make a 50 / 50 decision on killing a crew or letting them live.
Our long time Troubadour readers are surprised by the pictures above and below. They see someone who hasn't been seen in the Magellan flight director's chair for three years.
I walked into the Magellan control room and found none other than Brittney VandenBoss flight directing the Magellan's mission Red Storm Rising. Brittney was the Magellan Set Director during my time as CMSEC director. She left one year before me (2011) claiming her sanity as the reason for leaving. Brittney is the sister to the Magellan's current set director Nicole VandenBoss. Nicole is pictured above in the Magellan's second chair.
"Are you back for sure?" I asked Brittney.
"No, only this once. I was here anyway and Nicole asked if I wanted to fly. Yes, I'm that good," she replied.
Cold, half eaten french fries was another sign that Brittney was back. I found this telltale sign above her chair.
I asked CMSEC assistant director Jon Parker if he knew what he was doing by turning Brittney lose on those 13 sweet and innocent campers. He didn't answer verbally; he stood up, straightened his t-shirt and pointed to the words "Keep Calm and let the Assistant Director handle it."
The Galileo had this plastic partition running alongside its warp engine. It took me a moment to understand the reason. The cafeteria floor was being waxed. The plastic pathway was a reminder to the simulator's crew and staff NOT to venture beyond its protection and onto the bright shiney new floor. Such a miscalculation by a Space Center staff or volunteer would result in a serious janitorial nuclear meltdown.
Erin W and her assistant, Mason P. had the lives of six Galileo crewmembers in their hands.