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

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The USS Cassini Opens at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center. The Space Place at Renaissance Academy Welcomes Back the Voyager's Student Staff and Volunteers. Virtual Field Trips at the Space Center. Imaginarium Theater.

One by one the six new starship simulators are opening at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove.  The Cassini set sail with her first crew Saturday morning, April 17 under the watchful care of Jon Parker, Set Director.  

One thing you'll appreciate about the Cassini is the generous room allocated the simulator's control room.  There is room to stretch out and relax along with extra room for visiting guest observers.  The Cassini is power by Alex Anderson's Thorium software.  

Does the Cassini's Bridge layout look familiar?  Fans of the Space Center's first starship Voyager should see comparisons. 

The Cassini was inspired by the Voyager.  You have your center stations flanked on the left and right by the left wing and right wing stations.  The Voyager's stations were on different levels.  The Cassini's stations are all on the same level as per the architect's instructions.  Regardless, the  spirit of the Voyager is there in the design.  

In addition to the layout, Jon Parker has another goal for the new Cassini. Jon wants the Cassini to bring back the Voyager's old missions from the last three decades.  I stopped by the visit Jon and the Cassini Friday and found him telling "Cry from the Dark" to a young birthday party group.

The First Crew of the Cassini

The Cassini has a small engineering room just off the bridge.
The room is equipped with one of the Center's new dial and switch panels.        


Mason Edmondson helps a young officer learn his station on the 
Cassini's maiden flight.

Speaking of "Cry from the Dark", I enjoyed hearing Jon lead the crew through the mission.  I wrote "Cry.." years ago as a school field trip mission, and just as long ago since I've directed the mission.  Jon runs those old flight just the way I did all those years ago.  It's like stepping into a time machine when I watch him flight direct.  The old ways are the right ways for sure!  

Jon, Mason, Miranda and volunteer telling "Cry from the Dark"

The young Voyager captain thinking through the problems the Ferengi are giving him.
This is the part of the story where the Ferengi captain is about to spit out of anger.

The crew through the ship's monitoring camera.

The Cassini is open for private missions.  Visit the Space Center's web site to book one for yourself and friends.  Time to relive those old Voyager missions! 

The Space Place at Renaissance Academy Welcomes Back the Voyager's Student Staff and Volunteers

Bracken Funk, Lajana Funk, and Parriss King were busy Friday getting the Starship Voyager ready to fly. Bracken has been busy with the ship's Thorium software. His goal is to make the Voyager automated enough so one person can fly it in the Control Room, and we are nearly there. 

Friday was the day to bring in a small group of Space Place student volunteers. Mark, Brandon, Nathan, and Jackson were called in to man the bridge.  Bracken, Parriss, Lajana, and I staffed the Control Room.  Supernova was the mission chosen to put the Voyager through its paces. We wanted to push the controls to the point of breaking. I ran the microphone and directed the mission while Bracken worked the flight computers changing this and tweeking that.  

Mark, Brandon, Nathan, and Jackson on Friday's shakedown mission
You couldn't find a better group of young volunteers on the planet!

The Voyager ran beautifully. The fine tuning was minimal and yes, that pesky Dr. Jenkins got aboard the ship once again despite security's best efforts.  The flight ended at the Cardilir Neutral Zone border to be picked up the following day with a larger crew.   

The Saturday Crew of Fantastic Space Place student volunteers

The Voyager Shakedown Mission continued Saturday at 3:00 P.M. with a larger crew of outstanding Space Place volunteers.  Renaissance Academy's students are excited to see the Voyager being made ready to open again and are ready to once again wear their Young Astronaut Club shirts.


The Christa McAuliffe Space Center is Offering Virtual Planetarium Field Trips to Schools.

Imaginarium Theater
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Sunday, April 11, 2021

The New Starship Galileo Launches! The Starship Voyager's Sprint to Launch: All Hands on Deck. The CMSC's Simulators are Open. Time Lapse of the Center's Construction. The Odyssey's New Panel. Imaginarium Theater.

The Third Starship to Carry the Galileo Name Launched on Saturday 

Top Right and Left: Galileo I and its Creator David Kyle Herring. 
Bottom left: Galileo II A project Led by David Kyle Herring.
Bottom Right: The New Galileo's First Crew on it's Saturday Launch Day

     I stepped into the lobby at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center on Saturday to present the 1:10 P.M. Planetarium show and found James Porter standing with this group of young men waiting impatiently for their first mission in the new Starship Galileo.  
     "The first crew to fly the new Galileo," James announced.  There was well earned pride in his voice.  Getting the Center's six starships up and running is quite a burden.  Each has its own challenges because each is different in its own way.  
     James saw me reach for my phone.  "Don't worry," he said holding out his hand. "I'll get a picture you can use on the blog."  
     James knows the importance I place on documenting Space Center history.  He feels the same way as you can tell from his many Facebook posts detailing the Center's accomplishments and achievements.  
     Today's Space Center is the work of hundreds of people over the last 30 years.  It is the District's showcase definition of school, business, and community partnerships.  All of us who currently, or who have ever in the past, played a part in what it is today, stand proud at what it has become.  It's our baby all grown up!

Thank you 
Mr. Williamson 

The Space Place at Renaissance Academy Prepares the Starship Voyager for Launch

Bracken and Gage, Renaissance Academy's tech, considering the installation of a 
new bridge printer and a mammoth subwoofer to really "Shake the Place!"

Bracken Funk and crew are no strangers to putting in long hours to meet their goals to have Renaissance Academy's Starship Voyager back to full service after the long Covid night and several months of school remodelling. Recently Bracken and family even spent an entire night working on the ship's multiple systems for a special program for a high school physics class. His two little kids slept in the control room while he and his wife Lajana tended to the work at hand. "I work best in long sprints," he explained when I found them in the Voyager again last Saturday afternoon.

     The Voyager's bridge looked like it had lost a battle with a Romulan Warbird when I walked in to check on them Saturday afternoon.  "Come check out these improvements and changes," Bracken said when he saw me.       

     "We've moved the bridge printer from the back to the front next to communications where it should be," he explained.    

     "We moved the front two stations back from the main viewer to give them a better view of the screen and to give the crew a quicker way to move from one side of the bridge to the other.  Good for security." 

Megan (left) and Lajana (right) at the back of the bridge.

     Megan Warner, set director for The Space Place's Starship Titan, was part of Bracken's Saturday crew.  You Voyager fans will see the Captain's tactical table with screen was moved to the back wall.  There are plans to put benches along the platforms giving the captain a place to bring the crew together for meetings and briefings.
     The Space Place's Voyager Club will reopen very soon.  The Voyager Club provides space education through multiple simulations using the Starship Voyager and InfiniD missions to Renaissance Academy's kindergarten - 8th grade students. Watch for more news to come.    

All the Simulators are Open at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center

The Phoenix II Recently opened at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center

     Simulator reservations are no longer limited to just families!

Welcome back birthday parties, team building activities, adult get togethers, and every other excuse to have a fun adventure.

You can find available dates and times on our website

Time Lapse Construction of the New Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central School 

Watch the construction of the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central Elementary School from Beginning to end with this 5 minute time lapse video.  


The Odyssey's New Control Panel in Place and Ready for Use

Imaginarium Theater

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter From The Good Folks at The Troubadour.

What can I say.... It was either him or me for that money egg.

Hello Troops,

It is a busy Easter so The Troubadour staff (all one of them) is using the day for eating mass quantities of food and participating in every Easter egg hunt I can find. I may be coming to your  home because my own family has barred me from hunting Easter eggs. I tend to get overly excited with a gentle shove here and a trip there to get rid of the competition. Yes there are tears with snotty noses but the little ones need to learn how to fight for what they want in today's world.  Have a great day and enjoy the new Imaginarium Theater with family and friends.  

Mr. Williamson

Imaginarium  Theater

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