Saturday, July 9, 2016

de Jong Boys go to Space Camp: Day 4

Today's Location:

Space Camp * US Space and Rocket Center

Today's Intinerary:

Niels' observations for the day:

Last full day of Space Camp as tomorrow it's mainly about Graduation time. 

Today we started with Mission Bravo training, a Shuttle Mission. D got a wish come true as he was selected for the position as Flight Director or 'Flight' in Mission Control speak. 

After the training we got to spend some time on the MMU, the Manned Maneuvering Unit which simulates a space walk. Both the kids and the parents had some fun with that one...

We also got to finish and launch our rockets today. We launched them by the RV camp site behind the Marriott hotel. They all went up without an issue and all parachutes deployed as planned. The actual landing on about half our rockets was less successful as a nice wind out of the north blew them into the trees immediately south of the launch site. 

Unfortunately ours were some of the rockets that landed in the trees. D had to take some time to himself as he was really looking forward to taking his rocket home and launch it again but one of team members graciously offered D one of their rockets so he still gets to take one home albeit not the one he build himself.

Post-chow time we went to the IMAX theater to see 'Journey to Space' but that journey was cut short as one of the operators walked into the sold-out theater that they had to cancel the showing due to 'technical difficulties'. That gave us some extra time to browse the gift shop and some more family time before we started our second mission (Mission Bravo) on which D was Flight.

The team is really starting to come together and we did a near flawless mission and had lots of fun during the times we didn't have any mission objectives to complete. 

One of the fun bits was that D started singing 'Hot Stuff' again and our Team Orion all agreed that this is now our official team motto and we have incorporated this into our official Team Orion Mission Patch.

Before dinner we split our team into parents and kids and Team Dragon did the same and I think both are designing some patches but we are not supposed to know yet so we'll see about that tomorrow. We worked some more on the patches after dinner before a quick look at the dive tank before we got our last info sessions, this time on the Shuttle (or STS) and the new SLS/Orion program.

Tomorrow, we do evaluations, team presentations and graduations before we start our trek back up to Ohio.

D's observations for the day:

What did I do: 1) Got to ride the MMU, fired my rocket, got to be Flight on Bravo Mission

What was the best part of the day: That I got to be 'Flight'.

My favorite picture to remember today is:

If you have a question for D about his experience, leave a message for him in the comments!

Read other posts about our trip here:

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