Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Voyager Club's Tiger Squadron Missing in Action. The Last Transmission. Meet the New Volunteers. Theater Imaginarium

The Last Transmission From Tiger Squadron....

Tiger Squadron's Last Updated Ship Transmission

     The void of space can be unforgiving.  If the vacuum doesn't suck your last breath away, Earth's enemies will surely try.  This fact was once again brought home on Saturday with the reported loss of the Voyager Club's Tiger Squadron on the USS Magellan - the newly christened Ghost Ship.  Tears will wet the pillows of their remaining loved ones as they remember their fallen heros, lost in defense of home and family.
     The Long Duration Mission of 2015-16 has been one for the records with disappearances and casualties.  So many of Starfleet's best have fallen to Dominion spawned terror.  Earth survives thanks to their bravery, skills, and dedication to the principles which took us into space so many decades ago. 
     Did the Tiger Squadron succeed?  Has the terror stopped?  I'm happy to report the President is save.  Earth is safe. The threat is gone. It took their all, but they did succeed.  In their memory, The Troubadour salutes the Tiger Squadron. May they find peace in the space they loved.

Missing in Action

Hunter: Captain
Andrew: First Officer / Security
Lizzy: Sensors
Alex: Damage Control
Spencer: Tactical
Nathaniel: Communications

The Last Transmission From the Magellan's Bridge Security Cameras      


The Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center Welcomes Two New Volunteers

       Space Center Assistant Director Jon Parker, representing Space Center Director Mr. James Porter, officially welcomed two new volunteers to the Space Center's every growing student volunteer organization on Saturday.  Jon truly enjoys this part of his job.  "I truly enjoy this part of my job," he said as he extended his hand in welcoming these two outstanding young people into the Space Center organization.  The official handshake and the bestowing of the black shirt are decades old traditions at the Space Center. 
      "I remember the day I got my black shirt and hand shake," Mr. Parker remembered. "If I remember correctly, there were strange lights seen in the night sky, as if space itself knew something momentous had happened."
     "And bigger than normal solar flares," Mr. Williamson added.  A "Gosh Jeepers" was overheard from the assembled black shirts gathered for the handshaking event.         

     This is Jeffery. He is twelve years old and attends Lehi Junior High. Saturday was his first day as a volunteer having successfully completed his required observations and paid respectful homage before the Voyager Mausoleum's sealed entrance.   

     Meet Victoria.  Victoria is seventeen years old and attends Freedom Academy in Provo. Mr. Parker was amazed when he realized the similarity in names between the new volunteer Victoria and the Space Center's founder, Victor Williamson.  "Victor and Victoria. Could it be? I thought those two names were long out of use. Now, in this very hallway, there is a Victor and a Victoria.  It's like a paradox or something."
     Mason, the Space Center's resident Time Lord, was on hand to stamp Time's official blessing to Victoria's assumption of the title "Volunteer".  Who that is emerging from the old Briefing Room is unknown; perhaps the grown up ghost of the young apparition Mr. Porter met so many years ago in the school's kindergarten hallway on that dark and stormy night. 

Imaginarium Theater

The Best Vidlets of the week, assiduously edited for gentler audiences, minors, and those who are Terminally Offended

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Three Utah Schools Installing Starship Simulator InfiniD Labs. Seventeen Simulators in Utah! 50 Years Ago in Space. The Imaginarium.

From InfiniD's Website

Welcome Elk Ridge Middle School, Early Light Academy, and Edgemont Elementary to the InfiniD Group of Starship Simulators

     InfiniD is pleased to welcome Elk Ridge Middle School, Early Light Academy, and Edgemont Elementary into the growing community of schools using InfiniD Lab starship simulators.   Elk Ridge Middle School is in the Jordan School District and located in South Jordan, Utah.  

     InfiniD Labs basically morph a school's computer lab into a futuristic starship simulator.  Elk Ridge's simulator will be used to enhance the school's 7th grade curriculum.  

     Early Light Academy is also located in South Jordan.  It is a public charter school with grades K - 9.  This school's InfiniD Lab will be used to enhance the school's fourth grade curriculum.  Zeddy Nelson, one of our illustratious Voyager Club members, is a 9th grader at Early Light and is helping Skyler Carr install the Lab.  He's excited to have a simulator in his own school and plans on training to flight direct the missions.  

     Edgemont Elementary School is part of the Provo School District.  This school's InfiniD Lab will be used as part of the entire school's curriculum for grades K through 6.  
     All three computer lab simulators will be up and running this Fall; bringing the total number of starship simulators in Utah, inspired by the experiential education method I pioneered thirty years ago, to seventeen. 

The Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center:  Four Simulators
Lakeview Academy: Three simulators
Canyon Grove Academy: Two Simulators
Renaissance Academy: One Simulator
Merit Academy: Two Simulators
InfiniD's Mobile Simulator Titan
iWorlds Mobile Simulator Valiant
Edgemont Elementary's InfiniD Lab
Elk Ridge School's InfiniD Lab
Early Light Academy's InfiniD Lab

     This video introduces you to the InfiniD Lab

     This video shows you an InfiniD Lab in action!


Visit InfiniD's website to learn how an InfiniD Lab can change education at your school.   

50 Years Ago in Space: Gemini 11

by Mark Daymont

Beautiful blast-off of Gemini 11 on the Titan II rocket.
Just fifty years ago, astronauts Pete Conrad and Richard (Dick) Gordon lifted off from the LC-19 pad at Cape Kennedy, Florida.  The flight took place just an hour and a half after the blast-off of an Atlas-Agena mission from LC-14.

Atlas rocket carrying an Agena docking spacecraft lifts off from pad LC-14.

Busy times at the Cape. While Gemini 11 lifts off LC-19, in the distance you can see SA-500F, a dummy Saturn V rocket used to test the launch facilities of Pad LC-39A before actual missions begin.

A close-up view of the Gemini 11 Launch.
In a Gemini first, the manned capsule caught up to the Agena target vehicle 94 minutes after launch and docked without problems. The rapid flight to the docking vehicle was termed "direct ascent" rendezvous and docking, and is similar to the short 6-hour Soyuz flights used today for astronauts to reach the ISS in a minimal time. Once docked, the astronauts used the motor aboard the Agena to propel them into a higher record altitude of 850 miles, more than four times higher than the ISS orbits these days.

NASA publicity shot of Richard Gordon (L), and Pete Conrad (R).
The astronauts did not stay in the higher orbit. They docked and undocked a total of four times during the mission, and lowered their main orbital height to about 184 miles up. They then prepared for the main experiment of the mission, to simulate some artificial gravity using a spinning of the combined spaceships.

At a press conference, Pete Conrad uses models of the Gemini and Agena spacecraft to demonstrate how the tether between the vehicle would be used to keep the craft together while spinning around an axis point.
In the first mission EVA, Richard Gordon exited the Gemini capsule to attach a tether between the two vehicles. During the two hour plan for the spacewalk, he needed to move over to the Agena's docking collar and remove the 100-meter tether, then attach it to the prepared points on the Agena dock and the Gemini nose. Unfortunately, the activities of the EVA turned out to be much more fatiguing and problematic than the training had suggest it would be. The EVA had to be shortened, but Gordon successfully connected the tether.

Picture of Gordon preparing to exit the Gemini spacecraft.

Image of Gordon moving between the two spacecraft. Most of the footage of Gordon outside the craft, taken by Conrad, was of poor quality because of poor visibility in his window. 

The slack in the tether is very apparent in this image taken by Gordon.
The tether experiment did not go as planned. They were never able to get the taught tether stability needed to fully generate a proper rotation, but the spinning they were able to achieve gave them a measurable amount of centrifugal force.  Later, in a second EVA, Gordon was able to perform a non-tiring series of experiments and photography sessions.

High-quality image of Australia from Gemini 11.

Moonrise over the curvature of the Earth.
Three days after launch, the mission ended in a great example of the advances America was making with computer technology. In the first fully-computerized automatic re-entry, the Gemini 11 spacecraft precisely landed only 2.8 miles from its planned position, close by the recovery ship USS Guam.

USS Guam alongside the spacecraft and recovery frogmen.

Gordon and Conrad on the deck of USS Guam.

An interesting photo I found comparing the size difference between the two-man Gemini spacecraft and the original one-astronaut Mercury space capsule. Keep in mind that the white-colored service module section behind the Gemini astronauts did not return to Earth with the capsule but were destroyed after separation and re-entry

The Imaginarium