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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Two New Farpoint Voyagers. The Discovery Space Center is Remodeling and Repairing. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space Center Fans!
     It's been a long week in a classroom with a broken air conditioner.  The temperature in my room at Renaissance Academy hit 81 degrees during the school's open house.  I stopped complaining about the heat when I remembered my first five years of teaching at Central Elementary in Pleasant Grove. 
Schools didn't have air conditioning back then yet we survived opening in August.  Mind you, my classroom's windows opened, but that wasn't helpful in the late afternoon sun with Death Valley heat radiating up from the blacktop playground outside.  
     We've gotten soft over the years. A good heat up once in awhile is a good reminder of how cushy we've got it today.  The repairman will be at the school Monday bringing blessed refrigeration with him.  I'll be glad to hear that condenser kick in on the roof but grateful for the reminder of times past. 

Mr. W. 

The Farpoint Voyagers Space Center Club Welcomes Two New Members. 

     The Farpoint Voyagers Club gives students ages 10 to 17 the opportunity to volunteer in Utah County's two, soon to be five, Space Education Centers.  Along with the volunteering opportunities, our Voyager cadets attending monthly meetings emphasizing science, technology and engineering mixed with a heavy dose of science fiction.  We nerd out on the cool stuff!  The Farpoint Voyagers Club is headquartered at Renaissance Academy.  We have 140 members who attend schools all along the Wasatch Front. 
     This week our Voyager's club welcomed two new members.      
      This is Taysen .  Taysen is ten years old and attends Deerfield Elementary School in Highland.  He is the younger brother of Daxon, another Voyager Club member. He plans on volunteering at both the Discovery Space Center and the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.  He observed the Magellan, Atlantis, Odyssey, and Columbia.  His favorite ship is the Magellan.  
     This is Ethan.  Ethan is also ten years old and attends Timp Academy in Lindon. He is the younger brother of Kayla, another Voyager Club member.  He also plans on volunteering at both the Discovery Space Center and the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.  He's
 done missions on every ship at both space centers. 

Discovery Space Center Busy with Maintenance and Remodeling Projects.   

     The Discovery Space Center in Pleasant Grove, home to the Atlantis, Columbia, Challenger and Endeavor simulators, was closed today, yesterday and will be closed this Monday for maintenance and remodeling projects.

     Brandon and Skyler are shown installing white plastic around the main 'transporter' leading from the DSC's Command Center to the simulators.  Brandon accused me of distracting Skyler by peppering him with questions about the work.  Brandon wasn't the first , nor will he be the last, to comment on my one weakness - if given the opportunity, I have a tendency to occupy most of the airspace around me with conversation and witticisms .  He was spot on in telling me to snoop elsewhere for a story.  He needed Skyler right then to hold up the plastic for attaching to the supports. I left them be for a few minutes while I found someone else to bore.   

     It didn't take long to find Jorden and Scott on the lawn examining three different tool boxes.  
     "What are you doing?" I asked.  Jorden seemed fascinated with the toolbox's latching mechanism so Scott answered.  
     "We're looking for an air mask."  Scott is well known to carry a percentage of Vulcan blood in his veins.  He can be very matter of fact, logical and brutally observant when left to his own devices in social situations.  "We're doing important work on the Challenger upstairs and need the mask to prevent the inhalation of century old dust and plaster. Does that answer your question or would you like me to elaborate?"
     My first impulse was to point out the mask sitting at his feet, but then changed my mind and decided against it.  Why spoil the fun?  "What does it look like?"
     "White and somewhat round, but that point is debatable."  Scott replied.  "Let me add this to my previous description, which was accurate with the exception of the elastic band used to hold the filter up against one's mouth and nose." 
     Jorden spoke up.  "This is cool.  Turn this and the lid opens."  
     Scott held up his right index finger to stop him from continuing. "Entertaining and perhaps fascinating if your intended audience consisted of design engineers or small boys fixated on tools and the devices used to carry them about; neither of which occupies a seat on this lawn."
     "Shall I go?" I asked.
     "Allowing us to continue our search for the air mask would be a better use of our time.  May I suggest you go upstairs and look at the work already completed."  Scott pointed to the Center's second floor.  
     I started to leave and stopped, having one other thing to say. "Good luck on finding that mask."  
     "Luck is for fools and horses," Scott snorted.      

     I went upstairs as instructed and found the Challenger simulator in disarray.  There was a new doorway blasted in the wall between the Challenger's bridge and the simulator's new sick bay and brig.  

     Scott appeared and explained the situation.    

     Skyler followed and started to work.  Skyler is shown squatting where the Challenger's new Brig (jail) will be.  The Sick Bay (very small) is in front.  The doorway connects the sickbay to the ship's bridge.  

     I stepped into the Challenge to snap this picture looking out from the Bridge to the new area.  This doorway will sit right to the captain's right.  Scott told me the work will be completed Monday.  The Challenger is schedule to fly on Tuesday.  There is much still to be done.  

     Sarah Glad and helper were busy at work in the Atlantis reinstalling rope lighting on the bridge's steps.  Sarah is seen blending in nicely to the left of the steps.  Before leaving I noticed the girls were covering the rope lighting with white plastic to diffuse the light.  

     I also noticed the main transporter was finished. Doesn't it look futuristic?  Skyler and Brandon did a good job.  They understand what I've preached for decades.  A Starship Simulator is never finished.  There are always improvements to be made.  A good space center always works to better its simulators.  The DSC and the CMSEC are the definition of 'good space centers'.  

     Before leaving, Scott and Jorden invited me to visit a part of the DSC I've never seen - the boiler room, built in the late 1800's.  I expected creepy and wasn't disappointed.    

The way down to the crypt..... ah I mean, boiler room. Jorden holds his ACME ghostbuster baton, just
in case the Atlantis ghost should make an appearance.

     I don't know what the boys did to deserve the job of cleaning out the boiler room, but it wasn't a job I'd want.  Notice Jorden stands at the ready.  Scott, I believe is upstairs attempting to rationalize his way out of the dirty work ahead. 

Mr. W.  

 The Imaginarium

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