The Space Centers' Summit Meeting: Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, Telos Discovery Space Centers, Farpoint Experiential Education Center: Finding Common Ground
I'm often asked how many organizations in the simulator based experiential education business trace their inspiration and methodology to the original USS Voyager built in 1990 at Central School in Pleasant Grove. As of today there are six: the original CMSEC is going gangbusters in Pleasant Grove. Telos Discovery Space Center has two locations at Canyon Grove Academy in Pleasant Grove and Merit Academy in Springville (not to mention a ship under construction at their Vineyard campus). Lakeview Academy in Saratoga Springs has three simulators. The Farpoint Experiential Education Center at Renaissance Academy in Lehi is home to the new USS Voyager. InfiniD is installing computer lab simulators in several Utah schools. Dream Flight Adventures has experiential simulators in several Pennsylvania schools, a mobile simulator in Washington DC, and a ship in Venezuela.
That question is always followed up with another; "Are you in charge of all of them?" Happily the answer is NO. Very talented, knowledgeable, professional, and dedicated people run these centers and businesses. I'm happy where I am, directing Farpoint at Renaissance Academy.
Many people are curious whether the different organizations cooperate. That has been a tricky one to answer. For the past several years the answer has been both a yes and no. That ambiguity resolved itself last Monday when the directors of three space education organizations met at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center in Pleasant Grove. The meeting was called to explore areas of mutual interest with the end goal of forging new alliances which could decide intercenter issues such as mission allocations, starship controls, cross site employment, and the adoption of a new science fiction universe from which our simulators would operate within.
Attending the meeting was Ryan Anderson and Megan Warner representing Telos Discovery Space Center along with two of their site managers; James Porter of the CMSEC and several of his staff, and myself representing Farpoint.
|TDSC's Ryan Anderson and CMSEC's James Porter|
I invited the CMSEC to join TDSC and Farpoint as a cofounder of the Flight Director's Association (FDA). The FDA's mission will be to improve common practices and competency in our FD ground troops. The FDA would bring flight directors together from every simulator system wide for monthly workshops and socializing. A common approach to flight directing will open the door to cross center employment. Cross center flight directing and supervising is already a thing with Farpoint's hiring of Maeson Busk as USS Voyager flight director. Maeson is the manager of TDSC's Canyon Grove location. Isaac Ostler is another example of cross center employment. He is Farpoint's Student Director and a supervisor at the CMSEC. I couldn't ask for two better qualified and competent flight directors. Their cross center experience has greatly enriched Farpoint's program.
|The various center's staff enjoyed catching up on old times during a break in the meeting|
I want to thank the CMSEC and James Porter for organizing the meeting. There is much to do but the first steps were taken. For that reason I call the meeting historic.
Speaking with my founder's hat firmly atop my head, it warmed my heart to see so many of the old time staff back together sharing ideas and looking ahead to the successful future of this program.
Dream Flight Adventures' Experiential Education Simulator IKS Buccaneer Emerges from Drydock with a Major UpgradeSpace News
By Mark Daymont
50 Years ago: First steps towards the shuttle designs
Fifty years ago, on March 5, 1967, the US Air Force made a second flight attempt in a series of experiments to test how a lifting body shape would control re-entry into the atmosphere. The first launch had been made in December of 1966, resulting in a crash of the test vehicle into the sea. On this second attempt, a lifting body (also known as the X-23 made by Martin Marietta) was launched atop an Atlas missile and the craft separated and simulated a re-entry. At Mach 2 a special designed parachute deployed to recover the vehicle, which was supposed to be picked up by a flying cargo aircraft which would grab the parachute.
In the second flight, the parachute deployed but as the recovery aircraft flew by for inspection it noticed the proper parachute opening had not occurred, and so it would be dangerous to attempt an in-flight recovery. It was determined to allow the craft to descend to the sea for ship pick-up. Unfortunately the craft and parachute sank before the ship could arrive.
The third attempt on April 19 was a complete success. The parachute deployed properly, and the recovery cargo plane was able to snag the chute and bring the craft home. Although the craft was declared ready to be flown again, no further test flights with this design were made.
The best gifs of the week edited for general audiences. Great classroom reward for your studious little troopers.