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Monday, April 6, 2015

The Magellan Switches from Babylon 5 to Star Trek. Psychiatric Help Needed for the Falcon Crew. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium!

Hello Voyagers!
Are you enjoying your Spring vacation?  A week off of school is just what the psychiatrist ordered - right?  
With the this year's LDM safely in the hands of the wonderful, more or less charming, and entirely competent Emily Paxman, I'm free to focus my efforts on developing a new mission for next year's Long Duration Mission in the new Voyager at Renaissance Academy.  The first briefing on the new Voyager's maiden voyage was posted in the last Troubadour posting.  Please read it if you haven't already. Another posting will come out tomorrow.  

Tonight I'd like to continue your Space Center history course by posting my account of the second overnight camp for the Summer of 2000.  Most of you won't recognize the names, but you'll be amused by the history itself.  

This post is historically important because it documents the first Star Trek mission told in the Magellan. Before June 11, 2000 the Magellan was a Babylon 5 space station.   

Mr. Williamson

The Magellan back in the day.

From the Space Center's History File

June 11, 2000
A Report on Summer Overnight Camp 2

Dear Voyagers!

A quick report to all on the second overnight mission and its highlights.

1. Magellan: The Magellan broke new ground tonight with the Space Center's first "Who done it" mystery story. In addition to the new story comes the Magellan's new controls and the Federation universe (goodbye Babylon 5). I was given updates on Maggie developments throughout the evening. The initial reports were unsure on whether this change in universes would work. Part way through the evening, the reports focused on our programmer Allan Stewart.  He was frantically programming to keep the Maggie running. My source said nobody was to talk to Allan, nobody 
was to look at Allan, and nobody was to think about Allan (he was in such a state of concentration that even thought waves could cause an imbalance in the force). What really matters is the end product and it was successful. Mr. Alldredge was pleased with the end of camp survey results.  I'm happy then to report that the new and improved Magellan is a hit!  A special thanks to Chris Alldredge, and Allan Stewart for the new set. And a "Well Done!" to 
James, Stephen, and Robbie for picking up a lot of slack as bugs were being worked out. 

The Magellan's Bridge in 2000

2. Falcon: The Falcon received high marks again for its new story. Mark, Kyle, Jason, and Daniel Slothower once again frightened their campers into therapy.  

We don't have many pictures of the Falcon. Here is Spencer Dauwalder and Taylor Herring
getting ready to take to the Falcon Bridge

3. The Odyssey - no problems to report. All went well under David Merrell's direction.

4. Galileo: The kids loved it. Good job to Randy for a job well done at second chair. t

5. Voyager: What can we say except perfection as usual!  Everyone knows 
I change and adapt my missions to liven things up when I get bored. The Canada story I told was a shadow of its first telling. Soren was at 2FX with Tyson assisting. Matthew Stapleton and Kendall were excellent actors. Josh Webb was bored on the bridge.  The crew was good. He wasn't needed that much.  

A gold star to Justin Leavitt, the Voyager Doctor, for taking the prize for most votes. He did an excellent job mixing with the kids, showing an interest in how they were enjoying the camp and even eating breakfast with them. He was rewarded with more votes but also got the attention of the flight directors. 

We are in the kid business. We take kids and put them on adventures they will never forget. We put them into stories where they become the heroes. They make the decisions and suffer the consequences. They leave the Space Center feeling better about themselves (except for the Falcon crew). They leave us knowing they can overcome obstacles. We push their thinking to a higher level. 

We are also in the self esteem business. We act as mirrors to each other. We understanding who we are by how how we think others perceive us. I notice how our guests are treated by our staff. I also watch closely how the blue shirts treat the volunteers. Sometimes I see things that need changing, so I ask all of you to please show kindness, respect, and interest to our guests and to each other. 

(the only exception to this rule is if you are my video person. ;)

All the best my friends. For those of you working tomorrow - I'm looking for smiles and interest in our guests. Stephen (Nelix) Porter has taken the responsibility for being the Space Center's morale officer. Watch for his example.  Everyone else - I hope to see you 7:00 A.M. Wednesday for the opening social.


Space and Science news
By Mark Daymont
Farpoint Voyager Educator

50 Years Ago: First Commercial Communications Satellite

INTELSAT 1, nicknamed "Early Bird."

On April 6, 1965, NASA launched a Delta D rocket from Cape Canaveral carrying the world's first communications satellite developed for geosynchronous orbit. INTELSAT 1 was built by Hughes Aircraft Company for COMSAT. Although it was designed to be in service for 18 months, it actually kept working for 4 years. Although it was shut down after it was used in broadcasts of the Apollo 11 coverage, the satellite is still in orbit. 

Launch of the Delta D with INTELSAT 1.

INTELSAT 1 was the first communications satellite to use almost immediate contact between Europe and America and included television, telephone, and fax transmissions. 

Technicians working on INTELSAT 1.

50 Years Ago: SNAPSHOT Goes Nuclear in Space

Atlas-Agena-D lifts off with SNAPSHOT satellite.

Fifty years ago on April 3, 1965, NASA launched an Atlas rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California that lifted the SNAPSHOT nuclear reactor test satellite into orbit. The Agena booster carried the satellite into a polar orbit, where four hours later the reactor was remotely triggered to life. Within a half-day of starting, the reactor was producing almost 600 watts of electricity.

NASA illustration of the SNAPSHOT satellite still attached to the Agena booster stage.

It was planned to have the reactor generate electricity for one year, but in 43 days the voltage regulator failed, causing the need for ground engineers to shut down the experiment. Scientists expected that the radioactive elements in the reactor would decay to a safe level within 100 years, but the orbit of the craft was so solid that engineers calculated it would remain in orbit for 3000-4000 years!

SNAPSHOT during ground testing.

It is thought that in 1979, the craft may have collided with space debris in its orbit. Ground radars have tracked pieces of the satellite that would account for 50 pounds of the satellite's mass. It's not certain if any radioactive elements have been released, but certainly none of that would survive re-entry onto the ground.

Delta IV launches from Cape Canaveral. NASA/ULA.

In one week, all the major space-faring nations managed to launch payloads into Earth orbit. It started off on March 25th with the United Launch Alliance (US) conducting the launch of a Delta IV rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 37B. On board was the GPS-IIF-9 navigational satellite. From that point, the blast-offs just kept on coming.

On Thursday, a Russian Dnepr rocket lifted off from Dombarovsky in South-west Russia near Kazakhstan. It carried a Kompsat-3A research satellite for the South Korean Research Institute. The Dnepr is a repurposed ICBM missile.

On Friday, Japan launched an H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center. It placed an information-gathering satellite into orbit.

On Friday night, Soyuz TMA-16M lifted off from the Baikonur astrodome with crewmembers for Expedition 43 on the International SPace Station. Inside the SOyuz capsule, the picture caught astronaut Scott Kelly giving a thumbs-up as the spacecraft heads towards a rendezvous. Six hours later the spacecraft arrived safely. Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will be staying on board the station for an entire year, studying the effects of long-duration spaceflight. The commander of the Soyuz mission was Gennady Pedalka, making a return to the space station. He will be the first commander of four separate crews on the ISS.

Also on Friday, European agency Arianespace conducted a launch from French Guiana, firing a Soyuz rocket carrying twin Galileo satellites as part of the GNSS Navigation System.

On Saturday, a launch occurred at India's Satish Dhawan Space Center in India. The satellite is another navigation link in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.

The next launch took place on Monday, when China launched a Long March 3C to place a first in a new series of navigational satellites in orbit.

Back to Russia. From the Plestsk space center, Russia launched 3 Gonets-M communication satellites into orbit on board a Rokot missile. It is speculated that a 4th satellite, a secret military craft, was launched from the same flight.

Space activities have been very busy lately!

The Imaginarium

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