Saturday, the NASA Academy Glenn terns found their way out to Medina and the Vasicek homestead for a day of frolicking, eating, fire watching and crate tossing. The day started off with a little swimming, volleyball, trampoline and hearts. Soon came the eating!! And what a spread it was: hamburgers, hot dogs, Mexican dip, rice krispies treats, fruit platters, pickle platters, brownie baskets, and baked beans. After num-num time concluded, there were more sports. Volleyball and football led off followed by badminton and croquet. As evening slowly gave way to night, the fire-pit was readied and an initial round of fireworks was set off.
Sunday was a day of rest with no official Academy activities. The three who stayed at the Vasicek’s slept as late as the sun and heat allowed, laid on the lawn/pool, karaoked for three hours straight, and were fed a scrumptious dinner of lemon pepper and teriyaki chicken, baked beans (yea!), and potato salad. Then the whole group reconvened at the Academy House for our group meeting, summary forthcoming.
Monday morning breakfast was consumed. ‘Twas dandy. At 0800 we commenced work with our PIs. 1100 hours gave birth to two realizations: asking nicely won’t reroute the GRC shuttle, and it was hot outside. Around 1900 hours was the rap session, Great Success! Afterward we converted Jess’s room into a full service movie theater. You can pay for tickets via popsicles, orange juice, or designer night lights and water bottles courtesy of Tina the Turtle Design Co. Jennifer’s leg may require amputation after receiving a roundhouse kick from Stephanie “Chuck Norris” Vasicek before our movie started. Bernard lost interest in Fight Club because as far as he knows the “fighting” consisted of grown men crying a lot with some big fella named “Bob”. In other news: StudioPlus Fight Club rapidly losing momentum… considering outreach reality series to garner support.
And now for something completely different: we ate breakfast. Jessica practiced choking a few times and Stephanie, Kyle, and Ashley were finishing their 12 hour hunger strikes. Kamara’s super powers got us VIP treatment in meeting with two pilots and their shiny, new F-18 – a $60 million, 1.8 mach-capable aircraft. There “hot ‘cause’ they fly…this is why, this is why…” The rest of the day consisted of working and returning to the home front. At 6:30pm we had our Breakthrough Propulsion speaker: Marc Millis. It was quite good, very applicable to our group project and, he has proven to be a very excellent resource on issues with interstellar travel.
Wednesday, after breakfast and a few hours of working, we all went to a technical presentation on how to give technical presentations. Operation extreme redundancy is in effect but proceeding slowly. For some reason we keep going in circles… After work, the evening consisted of basketball, shopping, and Applebee’s. Mulch smells bad, and projectile shrimp are still edible after being washed off with water.
Thursday was a monumental turning point in our lives. We moved breakfast back to 7:15! Afterwards, it was again off to the PIs. A portion of our group met for a late lunch prior to when we thought the STS would land (fooled again), and ended the workday with a talk about the CLV by Scott Graham. Stephanie and Jessica went to the fitness center and did a cardio workout. In the evening Sheila Bailey gave a talk about photovoltaic cells and her current [heh] research in that area.
Friday, we (drum roll please) ate food in the morning. We then proceeded to tour the flight simulator in Bldg. 77 and tried our best not to crash the system. Adam tried to crash the plane but missed the ground. Stephanie, who has the unique ability to destroy anything at will, chose to make use of her gift on the poor simulated cargo plane which responded by catching fire and whimpering. The STS-117 landed successfully at 3:49 pm at Edwards Air Force Base.
–Adam Pfent and Jessica Snyder