Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The rest of Tuesday at Space Camp

Hello everyone.

Everything is ticking along although it is very hot- its like a hot nor-westerly all the time. 
The students are involved in lots of simulations that mimic low gravity or the difficulty of manipulating machinery outside of the space craft.
All of the groups had a go on the climbing wall and it certainly pushed some of the students comfort levels.  It really was a focus on working as a team as they had a "daisy chain" between the two climbers that they had to try and not break. 

The Climbing wall is situated in an area called area 51- obviously not the real one because that doesn't exist.  It is about a 10 minute walk from camp- through what we assume is their native bush- saw a deer and lots of squirrels.  Also in all of this bush is just abandoned bits of plane and spacecraft.  It certainly makes the area look very military and space like.

Tom and I had a look around the aviation challenge while we were at the climbing wall.  A very interesting set up with very high tech simulators.  It is very military in style and we weren't sure if our kids would respond very well to the style of the course.

This afternoon we have been watching a group on the 1/6 gravity chair.  Similar to the gravity on the moon.  The students looked so awkward trying to get around- every movement was overcompensated and quite hard to control.  Hard to imagine doing something like this in space gear as well.  There will be photos of up this shortly.

The students have been on the multi axis trainer as well- a device that simulates zero gravity conditions.

There is an awesome museum here at the Space Centre as well.  One of the bits of scientific history I had missed was the influence of the Germans on the space race and that they had volunteered to settle in Huntsville after world war 2.   This group of scientists, led by Von Braun,  have been termed the 'paper clip' scientists- in reference to the subtle paper clip that was placed on their files by the allies at the end of world war two to indicate they would be taken to the USA.  Both Russia and the USA wanted these scientists to further their rocket technology understanding with the purpose of winning the space race. There is amazing historic material in the museum from many of the space missions- for some of us more grown ups they aren't historical events but just stuff that has happened in our lifetimes. (although I would like to clarify that I wasn't alive when man first walked on the moon)

Tonight we have a group learning to scuba and another doing a practice mission in the shuttle simulator.  

We'll be in touch again tomorrow- with more photos of course.


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