Friday, February 27, 2009

Check Out Day

Today was a GREAT day. It was our last day at Ellington Field. We did not have to report to the field until 1:00 today. It was kind of sad. We have made a lot of friends here and we will miss not seeing them on a daily basis. We all gave presentations on our experiment, our experience here, and our plans when we return home. We then had to check out. We then met Col Johnson for awhile. We had a great time and I posted a picture from our visit tonight. We are going to just hang around the hotel tonight and plan what we are going to do with the students when we return on Monday. It was a gorgeous day here today. Tomorrow is our last day in Houston. We will finish our blog tonight. We have really enjoyed sending stuff back to everyone each night and we hope you have enjoyed it as well. We look forward tom sharing our experience when we return. We would like to thank everyone who made this trip possible including the people at the reduced gravity office, Doug, and especially our mentor Fernando. See Ya Monday. Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Cantu, Mrs. Damm, and Mrs. Myers

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tour Day

We are trying something new tonight. We have three videos for you to watch. You are going to have to be creative though and turn your head sides. Hey we are just learning this stuff. Mrs. Myers is doing most of the talking. The video of the Saturn V is a combination of the Apollos 18, 19 and 20 missions that were never flown. The hardware was complete when they abandoned the Apollo Missions. So it was assembled here to preserve it for future generations to see. It is unbelievable how big it is. Today we went on tours. We went to Building 9 which is where they have full size mock ups of space station, the shuttle, the Soyuz, the new Orion capsule, and we saw our mentor's robots there as well. The lunar rover is a project of his. We also have a picture of Spider. I bet you can guess where it got that name. Pretty impressive!! We then went to Mission Control. The picture taken at mission control that is really dark has a special person in it. Yes, we were fortunate enough to see our own Col. Johnson at work. He will be working CapCom during the next mission so he was busy at work preparing while we were there. We went to another building to learn about space suits and how they are going to make the next generation space suit. Mrs. Myers can be seen giving her imaginary friend a high five. This evening we went to Khima. There is a boardwalk there where there are carnival type attractions, restaurants, and shopping. We went there last year. This was the place that I showed my students that was covered in about 8 feet of water from the storm surge after Hurricane Ike. I was afraid of what we would see. To our amazement they have reconstructed a lot of it already. The damage is sad. Just across the water from where we were standing was a restaurant that was completely destroyed. The area is coming back. We talked to a local woman who said that the area will be in full swing again by this summer. That is good news for the people who live in the area.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Flight Day Two

Well we all survived. No on got sick on the plane. Mrs. Allen was a little bit disoriented but she did OK. I am not sure she would want to do it again though. Mrs. Cantu said that was a phenomenal experience and she can not wait to share it with others. She can only wish that she has the opportunity to do it again and take students. She said that she is in dreamland with that one though. As for me it was a once in a life time experience that I was able to experience not once but twice. Things were different this time. I was not as cautious and was more of a risk taker. Once we collected the data it was all play. I wanted to do things that I did not due the first time. I was not able to look out the window this time because this plane did not have the windows that the plane did last year. I tried to do more filming this time so that our students could get more out of the experience. As far as your questions are concerned our hair did float, it made us look funny in some of the pictures. We think that the density experiment that one of the teams did had water in it but we are not sure. We could not toss anything like food up into the air. This is called FOD or Foreign Object Damage. If a little piece were to get loose it could cause severe damage to the plane due to the environment that we are in. We all want to say hello to our students and that we look forward to seeing you next week. Tomorrow we are going on tours and should have some great things to share right now we are a little bit tired from the exciting day and the medications they had to give us prior to flight. Mrs. D

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flight Day One

WOW.....That is what I have to say. Today was a great experience. It was sooooo exciting to be able to float. At first it was really weird. They told us that we were going into 2G's and there was a lot of pressure on my body and it was really hard to move. When they told us that we were coming out and going into microgravity I just floated right up to the ceiling. The first couple parabolas I just got used to floating around and feeling what it was like to be an astronaut. It was cool!!! Once we got to the third parabola, Fernando (our mentor) and I started to do the experiment. I found that at first the washers and the paperclip would float toward the top too but them on some of them they would stick to the coil. Almost toward the end of us collecting data I started to float away in microgravity and tried to push down our experiment and held onto it instead and pulled the experiment box along with me. That was pretty funny because I was just floating and I couldn't get control of where I was going. I just said "Oh boy, here I go....uhhh help I'm floating with my experiment". Once we got done collecting our data it was time for us to play around and have some fun. I took out a slinky and a paddle ball and wanted to see what it would do in microgravity. Guess floated. Don't worry we got some of it on video. Once we hit the lunar parabola it was very different and i could jump and then come back down a little easier. I also did push ups with our mentor on my back (they were really easy to do push-ups). Martian I could jump and bounce. Overall I had a great time and would do it again anyday.....and no I didn't get sick one bit. Mrs. Myers

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flight Suit Day

Today was a day of hurry up and Wait. We had to be at the field early today to prepare for our TRR or Test Readiness Review. This is where NASA's safety OKs us to fly. It was no big deal for us. Then we waited and waited and waited until it was time to get our flight suits and load our experiments on the plane. There were a lot of people on the plane and it was hard to move around especially when they had a huge section of the side of the plane open for the forklift to load the experiments. We then watched an anti motion sickness video and learned how to NOT throw up on the plane. That was it for today. Mrs. Myers flies tomorrow so we are going to try and get her to bed Early, that is not easy by the way. I am sure she will have fantastic stories for you tomorrow. Mrs. D

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Trivia question for today. How many gallons of water does the NBL pool hold? First student with the right answer gets the prize.

Ms. Wagner was wondering about the flight schedule. They will be making two flight on Tuesday and two flights on Wednesday. Mrs. Myers will fly on Tuesday and the rest of us on Wednesday. Our DLN will be held on Wednesday. I think the plan is that the students who worked on the experiment will participate and then it will be recorded and shown to the rest of the students later.

We had an exciting day of touring today. We went to Galveston Island. The hurricane damage was unbelievable. I will post some pictures tomorrow. I cant tonight because they are on Mrs. Myers camera. It was very hard to see the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike.

We then went into downtown Houston where we went to the Houston Museum of Natural History. We saw many dinosaurs and fossils including the ones that I post tonight. We also saw the human body plastintation exhibit. It was fascinating to see how complex the human body was.

We then met our mentor Fernando for cake for my birthday. It was a wonderful birthday today. Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Cantu, and Mrs. Myers bought me some frog things since I am such a fan of frogs.

The plan is that we will get up tomorrow and make the drive to San Antonio where we will see the Alamo. Better get to bed as it is almost midnight. Mrs. D

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chamber Day

Well Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Cantu, and Mrs. Myers survived the Chamber. The three of them had four hours of training where they were scared into all of the possibilities of the things that could happen to them in the Chamber and during flight. They also learned what they need to do to avoid getting sick during the flight. They learned a technique on how to get their ears to pop during flight. This is very important during flight because of the altitude changes. All three teachers had different experiences in the Chamber but all three did very well. While in the Chamber they needed to breathe pure oxygen for thirty minutes through a pilots mask. This allowed their bodies to purge themselves of nitrogen so that they would not develop problems later. The NASA employees then began pumping air out of the Chamber until it thinned out to the equivalent to 25,000 feet. They were then instructed to take off their masks for 5 minutes. The masks could not be off any longer then this due to NASA regulation, because during this time their brains were being deprived of oxygen. They had to take a simple test during this time which as I remember was not that easy. Mrs. Myers said that during that time she felt very happy and giddy. Mrs. Allen said that she was anxious and really hot. She got really dizzy and had to put her mask back on. Mrs. Cantu did not seem to have any problems. They said that a few people from the other teams did not due very well. We think that a few people were not where they were supposed to be again but we are not sure and will have to wait until Monday to find out.

The three were then able to tour the Neutral Buoyancy Lab which is the pool in which astronauts train for space walks. They said there were astronauts training in the pool at one point today.

I think I forgot to tell everyone that I learned yesterday that I am going to be able to fly again this year. I am so excited. Mrs. Myers will be flying on Tuesday with out mentor and Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Cantu and I will be flying on Wednesday.

None of the students in the school district tried to answer my question about the vans yesterday so that prize goes back into the bucket for another day. The vanes are from all of the relief workers that are still here from the hurricane that went through.

Well watch be sure to read what we do over the weekend. We are going to take some trips and will have some interesting pictures posted.