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KaiYeves
2008-Jul-07, 12:09 AM
So, I'm finally back from the US Space Academy in Alabama after ten days away.

I didn't want to leave.

But I had to. :cry:

As soon as I got on the bus that took the trainees from the airport to the Space Center, I saw a huge billboard that read "Ares I- Coming soon to a launchpad near you". Right then I knew that I was going to love The Rocket City.

After arrival, we toured the Davidson Center, where all the stages of a Saturn V hung from the ceiling. As far as I am concerned, "Saturn V" is now an acceptable way to spell "awesome".

The dorms were designed to look like an offworld colony, and I received a badge saying my name, hometown, and that I was on Von Braun Team. There were two other Advanced Academy teams- Goddard Team and Von Tiesenhausen (Vonty) Team.

My favorite part of Space Academy was... everything! I loved the 1/6 Gravity Chair, which simulated walking on the moon, the IMAX theater, the museum exhibits and the test shuttle Pathfinder in the middle of Shuttle Park.

Von Braun Team did very well on the obstacle courses, and... not that well at model rockets. For our final mission, I was the comunications officer, and we successfully completed a shuttle mission, in spite of a heart attack, hostage situation, meteor shower and even one or two cases of temporary insanity.

Space Academy rocked, and I can't wait to go back next year!

BigDon
2008-Jul-07, 12:22 AM
Miss Yeves,

I am now proud to present you with your official Space Cadet medal.

The next hurdle is to survive the up coming "red shirt" phase. I have faith in you.

Sincerely

Admiral LaChance, United Earth Space Forces

Gemini
2008-Jul-07, 01:34 AM
I went back in 2004, I was in the "Wilbur" (as in Wright) group . This shortly after Columbia and at the time no one had even heard of Ares or Orion. While there, I did a thing called the Space and Aviation track. Not only did we get to do space missions, but we also got to go down to aviation challenge and learn about wilderness survival and piloting fighter jets ( my flying skills have improved since then). However, during the training for our first mission, I got a migrane while on Endeavours flight deck and eventually I had to go to a local doctor's office. Much to my disappointment, I had to spend the rest of the night Sick Bay. It was that night that I fell in love with one of the greatest films of the 1950's "The Day the Earth Stood Still. The actuall mission went well aside from missing our station docking opportunity, but I did get to go EVA and fix the HST. The second mission went better with me as flight director (I was also rapidly losing my voice, I sounded like yoda throughout the mission. It was our best mission so far. Though our rival team "Orville" got the Best Mission award, our team got both the Space Bowl and Mission Patch Awards.

Out of our group, I was the only Southern guy on the team, we had some from Massachusetts, Ohio, a few other states I can't remember off hand, but it was good being close to home (It's only an hour's drive from my house to the space center).


I'll be going back to the Center in a few weeks for the Fifth annual Apollo Saturn reunion for my Birthday.

Glad you enjoyed it.

Blake Parker, callsign "Rocketman"

Jim
2008-Jul-07, 01:06 PM
Von Braun Team did ... not that well at model rockets.

There is an irony here that must not be overlooked.

Glad you enjoyed yourself, Kai. But when are you coming to JSC? That's where all the real work happens.

Swift
2008-Jul-07, 01:29 PM
For our final mission, I was the comunications officer, and we successfully completed a shuttle mission, in spite of a heart attack, hostage situation, meteor shower and even one or two cases of temporary insanity.

Gosh, that just sounds like another day at work. Boy, if I had a nickel for every case of temporary insanity.... :whistle:

Glad you had fun. When are you going to post the photos?

Bean Counter
2008-Jul-07, 07:40 PM
Do they still have the dive tank and do they still do the SCUBA diving? That was my most favorite part. It was the first experience I had with SCUBA diving and it was most hawsome.

I've got a picture at home where my team is posing with Dr. von Tiesenhausen. Is he still alive? He was rather old when I was at camp and that was more than a decade ago. He was rumored to be a rather good organ player.

KaiYeves
2008-Jul-07, 09:21 PM
There is an irony here that must not be overlooked.
Well, the rockets themselves were pretty good, it was the parachutes we had trouble with.
The name of the "shop" we bought the rocket supplies at was even more ironic. Guess what it was called.


Glad you enjoyed yourself, Kai. But when are you coming to JSC? That's where all the real work happens.
Do they have a camp there? If so, then I could come next summer maybe.


Glad you had fun. When are you going to post the photos?
As soon as I figure out how to work my computer's stupid old scanner!


Do they still have the dive tank and do they still do the SCUBA diving?
Yes. Mission Specialists like myself did get to go diving. Seeing historic rockets at sunset through a huge window and then going scuba diving is like heaven to me.


I've got a picture at home where my team is posing with Dr. von Tiesenhausen. Is he still alive? He was rather old when I was at camp and that was more than a decade ago.
Yes, he's still alive, and he still helps out at the camp, but he was on vacation the week I was there.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-07, 10:39 PM
Well, the rockets themselves were pretty good, it was the parachutes we had trouble with.

Here's a good rule of thumb for parachutes:

Mass = 360 lbs
Area = 962.1 sq ft
Dimeter = 35 ft

Mass= 36 lbs
Area = 96.21 sq ft
Diameter = 11.07 ft

Mass = 3.6 lbs
Area = 9.621 sq ft
Diameter = 3.5 ft

Mass = .36 lbs
Area = .9621 sq ft
Diameter = 1.11 ft

Data obtained from a T-10C chute at max load and a vertical descent rate of 22 fps, standard day. The rest is simple scaling.

You can throw the data into Excel, do an X-Y plot with curve fit, and find any intermediate mass/diameter you want. In addition, since the area remains proportional to payload for a given rate of fall, once you find the area of the chute required for your payload, you can cut the rate of fall in half by picking a chut with twice the area, then slide to find the corresponding diameter.

As for building the chutes, a sewing machine is best, but a simple sheet with some clear 3M packing tape works in a pinch (just not for human use...)

Cut your circle. Mark it's center. Cut from the edge straight to the center. Pull in and overlap the cut pieces so that it forms a cone with a 20-deg slope (it may help to practice with a sheet of paper, first, to see how much overlap is required). Cut up the center of the overlapped pieces to create a new edge. Join the innermost portion of the new edge by taping from the center of the circle to about 1/3 of the way from the center to the outer edge.

Repeat from the end of the tape to the edge, this time forming a 40 deg slope for the middle third. Cut, and tape as before, but this time only to the previously taped area.

Repeat above, with the outer third having a 60 deg slope. Cut and tape as before.

You'll now have a parachute with three sections. The inner third sloped at 20 deg, the middle third at 40 deg, and the outer third at 60 deg.

Place 8, evenly-spaced marks around the outer edge. Don't punch holes to tie the lines. Rather, gather as little material as possible at the marks and use a sheet bend to attach the lines.

Cut the lines to even lengths.

Make a triangle of three even lengths of stick/beam about 1/10th as long as the diameter of the chute.

Attach half the lines on one end of a stick/beam, and the other half to the other end. Attach your payload to the third point of the triangle. This is to help prevent chute malfunctions.

When folding the chute, don't fold in half, then in half again. Rather, think map/accordian folds. Lay chute and payload flat, then fold about 1/10 the diameter one way, then fold it under the other way (flip, flop, flip, flop). When you're done, you should be able to grasp both sides and pull it completely out, without sliding material against itself.

Once you have a long, slender, accordian-folded chute, do the same accordian fold, this time center end of the chute to the riser (edge) end. This time, fold it into sections about 1/10 of the diameter.

You should wind up with a compact, roughly square shaped chunk about half as thick as it is wide.

If you're using it in a rocket, insert the wadding, then insert the chute, riser-side down, center-side up.

One of the things I liked to do with rockets was pack two chutes, one for the rocket, and another for the payload (usually a toy plastic Army soldier). The order of packing, bottom up, would be rocket motor, wadding, rocket chute, wadding, toy soldier, toy's chute, nose cone.

Have fun!


As soon as I figure out how to work my computer's stupid old scanner!

I'd spring for a new one. Canon has some exceptional ones out there, USB 2.0 or 2.1, for just $50.

cjl
2008-Jul-08, 05:34 AM
Well, the rockets themselves were pretty good, it was the parachutes we had trouble with.
Yeah, I've seen a few of those myself. Luckily, all mine over a couple of pounds have worked, but the recovery is where the majority of the failures occur (quite a shame really, to watch a ten foot, several hundred dollar rocket drilling in...)

Space Academy sounds awesome though - I wish I could have done that a couple of years ago.


Here's a good rule of thumb for parachutes:

Mass = 360 lbs
Area = 962.1 sq ft
Dimeter = 35 ft

Mass= 36 lbs
Area = 96.21 sq ft
Diameter = 11.07 ft

Mass = 3.6 lbs
Area = 9.621 sq ft
Diameter = 3.5 ft

Mass = .36 lbs
Area = .9621 sq ft
Diameter = 1.11 ft

Well, that's a bit on the small side for a nearly 6 oz rocket - typically, you want the small ones to land a bit more gently than the big stuff. The rule of thumb that I go by is usually that 12" chutes are good for 1-3 oz, 16-18" for 2.5-6oz, and 24" chutes for 5.5-9 oz. Of course, less can be used for a sturdy rocket :)

KaiYeves
2008-Jul-08, 08:28 PM
I must say, I wasn't thrilled at our team name. I'm still not really sure about that guy.

We made our parachutes without trouble, they just wouldn't deploy.

Jim
2008-Jul-08, 08:34 PM
Quote:
Glad you enjoyed yourself, Kai. But when are you coming to JSC? That's where all the real work happens.

Do they have a camp there? If so, then I could come next summer maybe.


Funny you ask...
http://www.spacecenter.org/SpaceSchool.html

ETA: Looks like it's currently set up for groups, but you might be able to get yourself added to one.

Fazor
2008-Jul-08, 08:37 PM
I must say, I wasn't thrilled at our team name. I'm still not really sure about that guy.

We made our parachutes without trouble, they just wouldn't deploy.

Oh come on, regardless of his dealings, ideologies, or involvements...he's name is sooo cool!

Wernher von Braun

I mean...doesn't it just sound like someone who'd hunt warewolves though the European countryside? :lol:

KaiYeves
2008-Jul-08, 08:53 PM
ETA: Looks like it's currently set up for groups, but you might be able to get yourself added to one.
Probably not, no schools around here do cool programs like that. Although the special needs program does the JASON project, while the regular school doesn't. Lucky special needs kids.


I mean...doesn't it just sound like someone who'd hunt werewolves though the European countryside?
I can't say, as I don't read much horror. It's just... to paraphrase what was said of Nepolean in a book I read- I can't decide if he was a good scientist who did some bad things or a bad scientist who did some good things.

RalofTyr
2008-Jul-09, 12:51 AM
His name and talents kept him out of a prison cell after the war.

Whirlpool
2008-Jul-09, 10:51 AM
Welcome back Kai .

:)

KaiYeves
2008-Jul-09, 08:27 PM
His name and talents kept him out of a prison cell after the war.
So he was bad, then?

Donnie B.
2008-Jul-09, 09:06 PM
Let's just say that, at the very least, he turned a blind eye to some very terrible things, all for the sake of his rocket work. But he was hardly the only German to do so in those black times.

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-09, 09:25 PM
Let's just say that, at the very least, he turned a blind eye to some very terrible things, all for the sake of his rocket work. But he was hardly the only German to do so in those black times.

Also, like many Germans, it was a choice of "put on the trappings" or die!

Neverfly
2008-Jul-09, 10:05 PM
This really is the issue- as Kaptain K just put it.

At that time, to go up against the Nazi's as a German Civilian, was suicide.
This is how the Nazi's were able to accomplish so much- Do you Really Believe that the German People were OK with what the Nazi's were doing? No, they weren't. But they were living in not just fear, but terror.

We'll probably never really know if Von Braun was as cruel as the Nazi's, or bad or what.

But we do know he lived in a place at a time when his rocketry research would not have gotten far and his life's work, dreams and even livelihood could have been severely compromised had he tried to fight back against the Nazi's even if he wanted to.
And we know that the USA gave him a second chance- and he succeeded in greater things imaginable than he ever did with Germany. Many of the really bad Nazi's always tried to go back to Nazi'sm. Or tried to find a place where they could be cruel and act out their desires again. But Von Braun never did. He seemed to manage to live the rest of his life without bringing atrocities onto people- and that in itself suggests that he wasn't like Heimler.

In the end, it's too little, too late to really be concerned about Von Brauns Character. Whatever he was, or started out as, or became- He left mankind with a legacy.

KaiYeves
2008-Jul-10, 01:08 AM
You don't know how much I appreciate those last three posts. We got an iron-on mission patch with all our names and a picture of a shuttle, like real astronauts, but it also had our team name on it. I really didn't know if I wanted to put it on my jacket, because of the uncertainty I had about our namesake. But now I know that I'm going to wear it after all. Because I want to honor that legacy Neverfly spoke of. I want to help humanity expand into space.

BigDon
2008-Jul-10, 01:20 AM
This has been discussed at length in the Conspiracy section with a lot of citations showing that the worst accusations were by know-nothing hoax believers who didn't even know their history, much less science.

Maybe 011 can find the specific one where Jay comes to his defense. That alone is good enough for me.

Ral....why am I not surprised?

Occam
2008-Jul-10, 01:21 AM
Kai, you have no idea how envious I am of your experience. When I was 12, I entered a competition for which the first prize was a trip to Florida to see the launch of Apollo 12, followed by a tour of mission control. It was a tough competition and only two people got 100%. I was one of them. In what I consider to be one of the greatest disappointments of my life, the ultimate winner was decided by a draw. I lost and received a consolation prize of model kits, while the other kid and his Dad went off to see a Saturn V launch. Some consolation! Especially since I already had all the model kits. I never met that kid and I hate him to this day :D

Donnie B.
2008-Jul-10, 01:54 AM
Occam... what a terrible thing to do to a kid! The sponsors should have been strung up.

I don't suppose it's all that much consolation, but a lot of us who grew up here in the US -- much closer to Florida than you -- also never got the chance to see a launch.

I had all those models too -- wish I'd hung on to them! I was a bit older than you (still am, ha!), so my collection started with Redstones and Atlases. I had a very nice, large-scale Gemini capsule too, not to mention just about every Apollo model I could find.

Rue
2008-Jul-10, 02:06 AM
That's all very cool, good that you had fun.

Tobin Dax
2008-Jul-10, 08:37 AM
You don't know how much I appreciate those last three posts. We got an iron-on mission patch with all our names and a picture of a shuttle, like real astronauts, but it also had our team name on it. I really didn't know if I wanted to put it on my jacket, because of the uncertainty I had about our namesake. But now I know that I'm going to wear it after all. Because I want to honor that legacy Neverfly spoke of. I want to help humanity expand into space.

Good for you, Kai. It does honor von Braun, but it also honors every other contributor to the technologies and ability we have now. That mission patch may have von Braun's name on it, but it ultimately represents the achievements of you and your group more than those of von Braun or anybody else. Wear that patch with pride.

KaiYeves
2008-Jul-10, 08:36 PM
I'm sorry, Occam. They do have adult programs, though, you know.