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Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Review of Halloween's Haunted Discovery Space Center. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space EdVenture Fans!
     As if a mission at the Discovery Space Center isn't scary enough, the DSC's staff decided to up one themselves and offer a truly unique, one of a kind, interactive haunted deep space thriller. I stopped by last Friday to get a few pictures and a few reactions from the twenty-six students attending the weekend overnight camp. 
     "I've been to lots of haunted houses," said a young camper, "but none of 'em made me scream.  That one made me scream. It was lots of fun!"  
     His reaction pretty much summed up all the other reactions I got from the campers as I got them ready for bed wearing (I chaperon the overnight camps at the Discovery Space Center).   
     The overnight camp started with the haunted house experience.  From there, some of the campers were "transported" to Canyon Grove Academy to continue their camp doing a version of Dark Calderon in the school's Everest simulator as their mission.  Another group stayed at the DSC and did The Dark Calderon in the Columbia simulator.   

     This is the roadside sign at the DSC.  I like the two spaceships, one apparently getting hit by lightening. Your eyes are not deceiving you.  It's ONLY $5.00 per person.  Tell me where you can do a local haunted house for that price.  

Brandon was busy putting up crowd direction barriers.  This haunted house takes you both inside and outside.  

     The staff were inside perfecting their makeup and costumes.  Casey Voeks is seen above teaching one visiting spook the fine art of being super frightening.  Casey is the master of frightening glares and spine chilling sneers thanks to his job as Utah County Republic Party Chairman - especially as we near the election.

     Braden Lystrup and assistant prepping and distributing props.  Braden required each cast member to recite the Haunted House's Pledge before being entrusted with the fright gear.   "On my honor I will do my best to scare the snot out of everyone who's path crosses mine."  

Your first stop (above) as you enter.  Skyler was installing the green screen - great for photos with scary backgrounds.  Remember, at the space centers we want you to leave with nothing but memories. 


     A dark foreboding maze awaits the doomed guests in the DSC's Command and Control Center. Get lost at your own peril because no one will be there to rescue you. 


     Men and boys had better not 'need to go' if you know what I mean.  It really doesn't matter; you will have already wet yourselves by the time you get to this stage of the experience.  I did, but it didn't matter.  No one will notice your accident, being so dark and all. 


     Space spiders are deadly.  They get inside derelict spaceships, make their webs and wait for unsuspecting astronauts to walk by.  Scared yet?  

     You will be..........

     In the DSC's haunted house, every starship simulator is used as a set piece.  Each has something of the mystery you'll need to solve in order to survive with all body parts and wits in tact.  

     A great deal of effort was put into the haunted house's visual / technical effects.   This is a screen shot from the Endeavor.  What is that hiding in the background screen static?  Maybe you don't want to know....... 

     Finally........ the exit.  IF you're still alive and IF you need to consume something sweet really fast to regain your composure and sanity, Stone Gate has a wonderful yogurt stand right there in the parking lot with lots of outdoor tables and chairs.  It is the perfect place to gather to discuss the experience and mourn those in your party who didn't make it.  
     "A Toast to our fallen comrades!" will be heard around every table as the beaten and scared survivors hold up their delicious frozen yogurt treats as a sign of love and respect to the loved ones taken so suddenly, and in the prime of their young lives.   

Mr. Williamson

Space and Science News
Written by Mark Daymont
Farpoint Education

Expedition 41 Completes 3 EVAs in October

Astronaut Reid Wiseman prepares to exit the Station for a walk in space, October 7.

In one month, the crew of Expedition 41 aboard the ISS has completed three important EVAs to complete maintenance, science, and preparation goals. On October 7, 2014, astronauts Reid Wiseman (NASA) and Alexander Gerst (European Space Agency) completed a six-plus hour spacewalk that was the first US spacewalk for the year. It was the first spacewalk for both astronauts. Their first task was to move a failed water pump from a temporary holding location and place it in a more permanent spot on the outside of the station. Next, the pair replaced a lighting unit for a camera mounted on the US Destiny space module. Then Wiseman replaced a backup power unit for the mobile remote arm platform which is capable of traveling the length of the station truss. The pair then returned to the station.

Fish-eye lens view of Wiseman on the EVA.

October 14. Astronaut Barry Wimore (left) and astronaut Wiseman (right) prepare for a second EVA in October.

During a second American EVA on the 14th, Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore exited the station to replace a failed power channel. Their second job was to begin preparations for the long-term reconfiguration of the station. As the new Commercial-built spacecraft come on line, along with the new Orion capsule, the station will have some of its docking ports rearranged to increase the number of spacecraft which can dock with the ISS at the same time. The EVA lasted a bit over 6 hours. 

Russian cosmonauts outside the Zvesda module.

On EVA 40 (third of October and the last one scheduled for 2014), cosmonauts Maksin Suraev (commander) and Alexander Samokutyaev (flight engineer) successfully completed their spacewalk goals a couple of hours ahead of schedule! The first task was to remove the Radiometriya experiment from the exterior (having completed the experiment) and they gently shoved the item off from the station and into space. They next removed the cover from the Expose-R experiment, which tests certain biological samples in space. They then Moved two external communications antennas to a new location for improved performance. Finally they retrieved some samples by the Pirs airlock and returned to the station interior.

The Imaginarium