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Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Review of the First Long Duration Mission. A Milestone in Space Center History. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space Fans,
     Yesterday Nautilus Squadron took our Farpoint Voyager Club's Long Duration Mission program off the drawing board and into real life with the successful completion of their team's first round mission.  
     Saturday started much like a typical Saturday when I was the Space Center director. I stopped at WalMart on my way to the Space Center to pick up a dozen Walmart Nutrition Rings (glazed donuts) just for old time's sake.  After all, going to Walmart early on a Saturday morning to pick up seven dozen glazed donuts was what I did off and on when Mr. Daymont wasn't on the flight directing roster (he did the donut run when he worked the overnight camp). I even wore one of my blue Space Center button down shirts to mark the occasion.  Nobody at WalMart noticed, but Jon Parker did when I got to the Space Center. 
     I found Emily and Connor in a controlled panic. Emily's tactical screen files didn't export or import correctly. While they did damage control in the Magellan's Control Room, I walked around the halls and the Discovery Room making clever comments appreciated by the LDM staff present. Once I worked through my material, I made myself useful and helped start the ship by switching on the side lights.  
     The Nautilus Team arrived en masse around 0730 hours. We kept the flight team in the foyer while Emily briefed Nautilus's three support personnel on their acting roles.  Jon reported the team was chanting in the hallway.  I stepped out to listen and heard nothing.  "The natives grow restless," I surmised. 
     At 0747 hours Emily gave the thumbs up. We were a go for main engine start.
The Nautilus team was brought into the Discovery Room for a short information briefing.
I won't go into details on what was said and done. Obviously that wouldn't be fair considering this is a competitive league.  For teams following the first team, knowing what they did and said in any kind of detail would be unfair to them and give the following teams an advantage.  It's similar to insider trading on the stock market.                        

Lissa, in the brown jacket, watching as her team pulses back and forth across the bridge with work.

     Eventually Team Nautilus made it to the Magellan's Bridge.  They donned their uniforms and learned their stations.  MacKenzie and Drake consider themselves co-captains, but for their TOB (time on bridge), I insisted one take the role of First Officer so the staff would know where the buck stopped for scoring reasons.  Having two captains works when things go south on a mission. Blame for bad decisions and command rests easier on four shoulders than two. They found a happy medium during the mission and made their system work for them and us.    

Drake at the captain's station wondering what he had gotten himself into.
      LDM's are different than your typical Space Center mission.  They go at the crew's pace.
They are level three in design with the presence of the team's coaches who assist the team and provide constructive, on the spot, feedback.  Alex DeBirk and Matt Long are the Nautilus coaches. Matt was unable to attend due to prior commitments with the Utah National Guard. Alex was on hand and worked well with Nautilus command in fine tuning their leadership skills.      
McKenzie in discussion with Andrew and Sam, Magellan's Strategic and Surveillance Officers.  

The Nautilus Squadron's Mascot perched on the team's whiteboard with official team notices.
Kayla at the Chief of Operations Station.

The Command Station with necessary goodies allocated only to the command staff.
     There is a reason I took the photo above and it has nothing to do with the food and drink.
Let's just say it is something between the Nautilus Squad and the LDM staff.  

The team in a mid-mission briefing
     The team gathered a few times during the mission to discuss strategy and to update each other on story developments.  It is easy to get distracted during an LDM with your own responsibilities and lose the general storyline.  Crew gatherings help keep the team focused and on the same page.    

    Brylee, in character, playing the role of a Romulan representative of the Gasko Station moving on to other duties as assigned by the flight director.  She left Andrew and Nolan wondering why they were signaled out for special attention. 

     Mauve and Marcus made up team Nautilus's debonair, polished, and cultured security team.  Nothing got by them.... right?  Come on, you know there isn't a security team in Starfleet good enough to foil a good flight director's evil plans.  They just don't know what got by them, but I do.....  

     Ari had her hands full with the Damage Control Station (lower level).  The Magellan, like all her sister Starfleet ships, is in bad shape. The Great Borg War destroyed most of the fleet. Those few ships that survived have the scars to show just how terrifying the Borg's weapons were.  
     Lindsey worked the communications station. What? Is that a private communication device in her hand?  Such devices are strictly against Starfleet regulations and are considered a security breach if found on the bridge of any starship.  What was she doing on that personal device?  Could there be a spy in the Nautilus ranks? How did this get by security?   

     The Nautilus Squadron deep in thought.  Each wondering what would happen next. Each afraid of "those" people behind the wall.  Each determined not to be the proverbial "weak link" in the chain.  If only they knew......   

     The other side of the Magellan bridge. Could there be something amiss in this photo?  Are you paranoid enough to pick it out?  
     Team Nautilus's TOB ended at 1015 hours.  They exited through the Magellan's hallway door. A Magellan private mission was waiting to board through the Discovery Room.  Alex DeBirk conducted the mission debriefing in the school's conference room. The squad was also given the opportunity to question the LDM flight crew concerning a few story points. 
     Our first LDM ended at 1045 hours. I met with Emily, Brittany and Jon after Nautilus went home to review a few housekeeping details. 
     I want to thank Jon Parker, Connor Larsen, Emily Paxman, Brittany VandenBos, Alex DeBirk, and Jacqueline Lystrup for going the extra mile and coming in early to help out. Jon and Conner both had a long day ahead of them packed with mission after mission so coming in at 0715 hours was a sacrifice.  Let there be no doubt, the Space Center if a very popular place.  
     Speaking on behalf of the Space EdVentures Foundation and the Farpoint Team, I want to thank James Porter and the rest of the Space Center staff for their support. I also want to thank Renaissance Academy for sponsoring the Farpoint Voyagers Club. When all is said and done, our Farpoint board members, adult volunteers and Space Center staff do this for the students of Utah.  It is why we're in this business.

Mr. Williamson

The Imaginarium

Could be a good series..

A waterfall restaurant.

Making the best out of the situation. 

How to make  a real Hobbit house.  Above and below...

An ad for a sugar free lollipop.
Creativity: A

The line to get into the gym on January 2.

Combat Table.
Imagination: A

More descriptive advertisements.

The difference in kids from when I started teaching to today.

Creative advertising

A wind and rain sculpture in England.

Creative salt and pepper dispensers.

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