May 22, 2005

Long but rewarding day

I'll put up a more complete post later, but for now here are some Team America Rocketry Contest highlights and things that come immediately to mind, in no particular order.

The top three student teams were all within 1 second of the target time.

Ken Mattingly of Apollo 13 fame (still sans measles) was there.

The Director of Education for NASA attended again, and in her remarks said that NASA was on the edge of a massive wave of engineer retirements, and that they desperately needed an influx of young talent. She said that they weren't able to get enough new people to backfill the positions left vacant.

No mention of commercial space. Not surprising since NASA and the Aerospace Industry Association picked up the tab for TARC, and none of the new players are members in the AIA (yet). Still, this is an opportunity to recruit and promote that private space companies should grab a piece of if they can.

One of the demo flights was a full-scale reconstruction of Robert Goddard's original rocket. Unlike the original flight, this one was designed to fly in a safe and stable manner, and did. It looked scale, it didn't fly scale.

Several teams managed to hang their rockets in evil rocket-eating trees, but all managed to get them back and return the egg payload for scoring. One team found their rocket after searching for five hours. Only one team never found their rocket.

God likes rockets.

Lots of goodies and stuff to check out along "vendor row". Mostly colleges passing out information on their engineering and sciences curriculums. The CIA was there, so was the Civil Air Patrol, and they had a nifty Wright Brothers flight simulator where you could sit in a reconstruction of their original flyer's cockpit (such as it was) and try to fly the darned thing. The line was too long for Mookie and I to get to try that.

I remembered sunscreen. Mostly.

My cheeks hurt from smiling all day long.

Posted by Ted at May 22, 2005 06:37 AM
Category: Rocketry

Hey,Ted!Glad y'all had a good time.I was gonna go but all of that rain put a setback on my gardening.Getting ready to go to town and jump back on that here in a bit.
BTW,I just saw the crowd on channel 4 news not 15 minutes ago.Everyone did look like they where having a blast.That is except for the guy with the omlet.
Also,I went to the club site last night looking for some news but couldn't find any.What I did find was the latest news letter that I didn't know about.I'm sure Trip sent a notice but I probably deleted it in haste.Imagine my suprise at finding two shots of my now imfamous Mean Machine blast deflector destroying hang up.More pics(or maybe the same) over on Maelstrom's Verticle Force site.That bird is my old grungy Meanie with a new finish and new yeller Excelsior decals.I don't think you've seen it yet.

Posted by: Russ at May 22, 2005 07:07 AM

Sounds like a great day.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at May 22, 2005 08:20 AM

My cheeks hurt from sitting all day.

Did you get to meet Ken Mattingly?

Posted by: Tuning Spork at May 22, 2005 04:26 PM
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