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Stardate 2011.06.08

posted Jun 30, 2011, 8:10 PM by Anant Narayanan

Our first field trip!

School was still in session, so Colin, Jacqueline, Gabriel and Rohit met-up after school and drove to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum with Mr. Narayanan and Mrs, Jarratt.  We were told that the museum would be open until 6:30 PM, but when we reached there, we found out that the museum would be closing at 5:30 PM for a reception.

Megha, Rohit and Gabriel were happy walking around the museum in their orange NASA space suits.  Jacqueline was a good sport about wearing the suit, even though it offended her sense of style.  Colin was sure that putting on the suit would be injurious to his reputation, and politely declined to look ridiculous, even for a good cause.

We saw Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne, the winner of the Ansari X prize, and discussed how winning a prize could make a vehicle more valuable than what it had cost to design, build and test.  We visited the Skylab module, and the Apollo Lunar Lander.  We also saw Werner von Braun’s V-2 rocket.  Rohit’s mom later told us about the summer she once spent in DC in Mrs. von Braun’s home.

We also saw the reflective foil used to shield the Apollo Lander as well as the black paint used to dump heat from parts of it.  It reminded us of the GLXP Astrobotics rover.

We did a little bit of videotaping in front of the Lunar Rover.

The team was the hit of the day at the Air and Space Museum.  People wanted to take pictures of us and one person even gave us five cents to help us get to the moon.

When we got out of the museum, it was hot.  We spent a lot of time eating ice cream and drinking various sodas that might have been hard to convince our moms to buy.   Some team members saw the scale model of the solar system on the sidewalk in front of the museum.  Others were amazed by the tiny McDonald supply truck.

We found out that the Phase I competition deadline had been extended to June 26th.