By Jon and Anup
Sunday, June 14th, 2009
The Glennterns awoke early Sunday morning seizing at the thought of being able to seize the day on their white water rafting excursion. They spent the morning eating breakfast and breaking down camp to prepare for the day ahead. Rolling the tent posed the biggest issue of the morning, as the wet and muddy nylon had expanded to twice the size of the stuff sack to which it belonged. Eventually, the tent was crammed into the tiny sack, left as a gift for the 2010 NASA Academy group.
Arriving in the parking lot of the rafting company, the Glennterns wandered aimlessly, looking at t-shirts, comparing sunglasses, finding their water-shoes, and mindlessly watching videos of rafts capsize before the rafting company called the tourists to order. The group gathered around a short, eccentric fellow who introduced himself as Bob. Standing on a table, Bob explained to the group how to put on their life jackets and helmets, the ins and outs of white water rafting, and an overview of the day ahead. After getting life jackets and helmets, the Glennterns and sixty-six of their closest friends piled into two yellow school buses and were carted off to the river.
On the river, the Glennterns were divided into two rafts, one comprised Andrew H, Jamie, Anup, Brendan, and Jon, and a second, comprised Kristin, Andrew A., Adam, and Harkirat. The trip was fantastic. Highlights included the plethora of failed attempts to commandeer one another’s boats. The day was punctuated by a fantastic lunch, served with a rich cornucopia of exotic deli meats and cheeses.
Also noteworthy was the first boat’s inability to steer, paddle, follow directions, turn, cooperate, maneuver, and all together raft leading them to both take White Water Bob out as he was directing traffic, and forcing the crew to take cover inside the raft as they barreled down the wrong side of the river. The trip concluded after one last round of rapids, and a tough raft portage up a steep hill. School buses awaited at the top of the trek, and the Glennterns piled in to be carted back to the rally point and cars.
Exhausted and ready to return to the Stud, the Glennterns were dropped off in the rafting company’s parking lot where they changed, basked in the glory of their adventures, and ineffectively tried to decide what photos, shirts, and videos to purchases. After deciding against stimulating the economy, the Glennterns left Pennsylvania for the tranquility and sanctity of the Stud. The car ride home was long and toilsome. Eventually, Anup and Kristin were able to make it from the back roads of Pennsylvania to the Stud parking lot, where the team quickly unloaded the cars and Anup and Kristin quickly drove off to return the rental cars.
Kristin and Anup returned to the Stud and the chosen nine settled in after what had been a long day. Brendan and Anup cooked a fine feast fit for a king, Anup did some laundry, and the rest went into recovery mode getting some much needed rest and relaxation.
Monday, June 15th, 2009
Monday was standard
The summary needed spice
Here are some Haikus
Badge, notes, glasses, lunch
Kristin’s car forgot a lot
We had to eat fast
The RAs worked hard
Research, science, PI time
Glenn was productive
Anup played tennis
A long Monday RAP session
Project talk followed
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Tuesday was a normal day at the office, and after work, everyone headed to the AIAA picnic. At the picnic, Anup repeatedly commented on the abundance of grills under the pavilion and people lined up to grill their own meat. Anup and Brendan ate hotdogs; Andrew H., Andrew A., Jon, Kristin, Jamie, and Adam ate burgers; and Harkirat ate nearly a pound of chicken.
After the picnic, Anup, Adam, Brendan and Jon played Frisbee in the parking lot as Kristin and Andrew H. went on a run. Near 9:00 P.M. the group met up at the heated swimming pool and played tag.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Wednesday morning began with Anup and Andrew A. walking into the hallway at 7:15 and complaining about the tardiness of the rest of the Glennterns. The morning conversation centered on the origins of the name of the shuttle orbiter Columbia. Brendan, Anup, and Jon ventured guesses, but after some quick detective work on Wikipedia, they all turned out to be wrong.
Anup, Andrew H., and Adam met up for lunch at the NASA Employee’s Center. They discussed the recently created vegetable coalition, whose members cut up vegetables and exchange them with each other, creating a vegetable assortment for use in lunchtime sandwiches. The three ventured into the exchange store and Adam bought a new shirt.
At the end of the workday, Anup had to put down his back seat to accommodate the projector screen for the evening’s talk. At 4:26 P.M. Anup and Jon, fearless crime fighting duo, headed over to Joe’s Deli to pick up sandwich party trays for the Mark Hyatt presentation that evening. While leaving Glenn, a loud burst occurred in the back of the Engineer Mobile. Jon looked back to see a green substance oozing out and around the large sound system in the back of the car. A worried Anup looked back and thought the green ooze was coming from one of his amps only to find an Amp energy drink had ruptured in the back seat. Jon commented that the speakers might have hit the resonance frequency of the drink can, causing an explosion Tacoma Narrow Bridge style.
The lecture that evening was given by Mark Hyatt on the moon landings and lunar regolith. The discussion was stimulating and Mark Hyatt was able to provide valuable insight on the group’s project.
Later Kristin, Andrew H., Harkirat, Anup, Jamie, and Brendan went on a run and played Frisbee. Just before bed, the group built their first railgun with supplies they had purchased from Target, which proved to work moderately well.
Thursday, June 18th, 2009
Thursday morning was slow at Glenn. The Academyites were quiet at breakfast and no one seemed to have any lab stories to share around the table. The group met for lunch outside the employee center. Packed sandwiches seemed to be the most common choice for lunch eatery. Andrew H. tried to throw his trash in a can like a basketball player and failed over and over again. After lunch, the Glennterns headed to the exchange store for some Father’s day gifts, but they didn’t find anything. After much deliberation, Kristin finally purchased a Father’s Day card and the group headed to the Valerie Lyons talk.
Dr. Valerie Lyons presented on the role NASA has played, and will continue to play in alternative energy technologies. She discussed some of the specific projects Glenn has participated in and provided a glimpse at what is to come from Glenn Research Center. The Academyites were well represented in the discussion following the talk as Harkirat opened up forum with a question on algae and Anup followed with a question on space solar power.
The workday ended and Brendan, Jon, and Andrew H. went to play Frisbee at the picnic grounds. Anup conducted a productive conference call and joined the Frisbee party as the game was winding down. The four listened to Indian music and talked about rocket launch facilities on the way home. Back at the Stud Jamie and Kristin took naps while Adam was probably playing guitar hero.
Thursday was one of the first truly free evenings the Glennterns had, and to celebrate, the group headed for downtown Cleveland to check out the nightlife. Minus Andrew A. and Harkirat, the group had a couple guest appearances by Kayt, Jon’s girlfriend at Case Western Reserve, two of Brendan’s Friends, and two real characters Andrew H. knew, and enjoyed the evening.
Friday, June 19th, 2009
Friday proved to be a moderately normal day as the Glennterns anxiously awaited their departure for Florida. The morning talks in the cafeteria centered on wiki-races and stamps, and the day was spent conducting exceptionally productive and uninterrupted research. After driving back to the Stud, the group quickly packed and headed to Cleveland International Airport. The Academyites got their boarding passes, moved through security, and got on a plane.
Upon arrival in Florida, Anup and Kristin went to pick up rental cars, while the others waited in the airport occupying their time playing Frisbee and holding escalator races. After a long wait, the Glennterns were reunited and the group headed toward the hotel for the evening.
Saturday, June 20th, 2009
The Glennterns awoke at early, excited to get cracking on the day ahead. After scarfing down a quick breakfast at the hotel, they piled into cars and prepared to jump out of perfectly function aircraft. Yes, the Glennterns went skydiving and it was no less than amazing.
The Academites arrived at Sky Dive Space Center around 8:00 in the morning. There they met Omar, an Academy Alumnus and accomplished skydiver. After signing their lives away, the group headed to the hangar and suited up for the jump. The team was split up into two groups, and after a little instruction, Jon, Adam, Anup, Kristin, Harkirat, and Omar piled into the plane for the jump. The jump was amazing. It was a like sitting on a really windy couch, with the surface of the Earth 18,000 feet below you, as you sailed through the air.
The five touched down, and were quick to look through all the pictures Andrew H. had snapped of the fall. Minutes later, Andrew H., Jamie, Adam, and Andrew A. piled into the plane to throw themselves at the Earth. Needless to say, all had a good time, and it became clear the jump was nowhere near long enough to satisfy the Glennterns’ need for speed.
After skydiving the group spent the afternoon around Florida. Target, Walmart, the Warbird museum, and the beach were all fantastic ways to unwind. The Warbird Museum was a fantastic collection of military aircraft including a DARPA supersonic aircraft, an F-14 Tomcat, an UH-1 Huey, and an F-9 Panther. It was really a shame that Andrew H. missed seeing a lot of the exhibits, due to a lost contact. The group met a Capt. James Kirk who showed everyone around the museum. Again the Glennterns had a ball and there was much rejoicing.
The Glennterns concluded the afternoon with a trip to the beach. After finding the perfect patch of sandy real estate, the group settled down for a relaxing afternoon. The group went swimming, where both Andrew and Jon lost their sunglasses in the water, fell asleep in the sand, and played Frisbee. Adam also created the eighth wonder of modern engineering as he built an amazing sand structure. A good time was had by all.
After leaving the beach, returning to the hotel, and washing up, the Glennterns headed out to Cape Canaveral for dessert and to dance the night away. But with the stroke of midnight, the group was worried they might all turn into pumpkins they headed back to the hotel to get some rest.
From sun up, to sun down, Saturday was quite the action packed day. Skydiving, museums, lounging on the beach, and desserts and dancing proved to be one of the eventful days in the Academy. Although tiring, the day was phenomenal, and never has so much fun been seen by the likes of nine rocket scientists.