By Adam and Harkirat
Sunday, June 21, 2009
After staggering out of bed early again, the Glennterns made their way out of the hotel and into their cars. They made their way to the McDonald’s for a quick breakfast before heading out for our Cape Canaveral Tour. Once there, the group met their guide, John Hilliard, who was very knowledgeable, and piled onto the bus. It was already very hot and humid. The guide led the group into the rocket-garden and gave them a tour of one of the old bunkers, which contained machines that filled up the room and yet contained the power of a calculator.
After the tour in the sweltering heat, the group was ready to change into some more casual clothes and get some lunch. Andrew A. directed the group to IHOP, but the 15 minute wait was vetoed in favor of a 45 minute search for somewhere else. The group finally made it to Coconuts, where the food was very good and worth the wait. After that, the Glennterns made their way to a putt-putt golf course. There, Adam and Charner’s epic back-and-forth ended in a lackluster draw and Harkirat discovered the joys of being ambidextrous, crushing the course when she switched to lefty.
The group decided to split up then, with Adam, Brendan, Harkirat, and Kristin opting to crash back at the Ramada while Andrew A., Charner, Anup, Jon, and Jamie went to the beach for the second time. After some relaxation, be it on the sand or in a bed, the group met back up at the hotel for a late pizza dinner and chilled around the pool. More than ready to turn in, the Glennterns winded down and readied for another early day.
Monday, June 22, 2009
The day of our Kennedy Space Center Tour began with a 7:00 am departure from Ramada, our hotel in Titusville. We decided there was enough time for us to get breakfast and be on time for our tour at the Kennedy Space Center which was to start at 7:45 a.m. We drove around looking for a Dunkin’ Donuts, but no luck. So, in the interest of time, we decided to forget about breakfast for the moment and just drove to KSC and made it on time for the tour. We were received by our tour guide Greg Hale. Greg worked for NASA for 36 years and he is now retired and volunteers his time as a guide for NASA tours, and from what I remember the “VIP” tours. He even told us, “You guys are VIPs.”
The tour started at the International Space Station Processing Facility, where different parts of the International Space Station are being constructed, tested and improved. Before this tour, Hale managed to get us to the cafeteria for some awesome food (Harkirat’s banana bread was delicious!). Harkirat had to finish her strawberries quickly because we were getting late for our tour.
Hale just seemed to know everyone at NASA. We got to go to a lot of special places including the Vehicle Assembly Building, the countdown clock site for shuttle launches and the unforgettable shuttle launch pad with the shuttle there! Most of us just thought this was the coolest thing we’ve ever done. We had a little too much fun with the pictures throughout the day. Everybody was very thankful for the wonderful tour that Hale had given us.
The day ended with Hale dropping us off back to the Visitors center. We thanked him once again. We then went into the Space Shuttle Experience simulator, which was a lot of fun! Then a quick run was made to the Gift shop before we set out to the airport. Kristin and Anup dropped the rest of the group at the airport and then went to return the rental cars. Then we got our flight at around 5:30, which said it was going to Pittsburgh! Andrew H. was very confused, as we were supposed to connect in Charlotte. It turned out Pittsburgh was the final destination after Charlotte. Anyway, everybody got on the right flight to Charlotte and then the next one to Cleveland from Charlotte. We got back to the Stud around 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Glennterns shuffled back to work after their long weekend in Florida, nothing on their schedule today except for getting to back to the work they were so sorely missing. After work, a few people went for their usual run while others just tried to recover from the early wakeup times from the weekend trip. Jamie went down to Akron for an interview and after she got back the day-late wrap meeting ensued in its typical hour-and-a-half fashion. The group-meeting went long into the night; it wasn’t pretty, but the group finally found the direction in the project they felt they were so sorely lacking.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The day started with the usual breakfast congregation. We talked a little about the Group Project and decided we needed to have a meeting for the Group Project during lunch time. The meeting was held in Anup’s office. After the meeting, we attended the talk by Geoffrey Landis on Power Systems. The talk was about the current and future Mars rover missions as well as the possibility of planning missions to Venus. As usual, the Academyites had lots of questions for Dr. Landis. The group stayed for about 20 minutes after the talk to ask questions.
The group was to go see the movie, “The Hangover,” at night. Kristin didn’t go because she was trying to get her broken hard drive fixed, so the girls were down by 1, but Jon’s girlfriend Kayt brought the girls’ strength back to three. After the movie, the group returned to the Stud and got a good night’s rest.
Thursday June 25, 2009
The group made their way to work per usual, setting a new record in actually remembering their badges this week. Meeting at lunchtime in Anup’s office for the second straight day, the BLAST’EM team had a downright efficient meeting, much to the shock and delight of all those involved, ironing out team specifics in just 15 minutes before some of them ran off to the Green Forum talk with Mark Millis. After work and prior to the group’s dinner with OAI president Dr. Mike Heil, Anup had Andrew H. thoroughly convinced that they were having just bread for dinner. However, Anup arrived with the Panera sandwiches, and the talk was on. Afterwards, Jamie went to pick up her boyfriend at the airport and nearly all of the guys, save Adam, went out running in the rain. The rest of the night was spent talking about the group project.
Friday June 26, 2009
The day began with a morning vote at breakfast on what should be the focus of our testing for the Group Project. The most exciting event of the day was the Astronaut Talk, where three crew members of the STS-125 mission spoke. It was fun listening to the stories astronauts had to tell about their experience in space. After the talk, some of the Academyites stayed back to get autographs from the astronauts. The rest of the day went as usual. Some people went out to dinner at Shooters in Cleveland while Harkirat just really messed up her sleep cycle by taking a 6 hour “nap” and over-sleeping.
Saturday June 27, 2009
This was the official sleep-in Saturday for the Glennterns. Most people planned to sleep in but accidentally woke up early and then went back to sleep. Andrew H. went to play golf with some NASA interns. Jamie spent most of the day with her boyfriend Kyle. The rest of the group minus Harkirat went to the beach. All the Academyites gathered to watch the baseball game of Reds vs. Indians at the Progressive Field. Before the game, Harkirat, who is always crazy about pictures, got a free picture of her as a “future astronaut.” The game was fun.
Brendan tried to enlighten Harkirat on some American culture by trying to teach her the song that is sung at every baseball game. The game was very slow, and the sun was bright and right in our eyes for the first hour or so. Then the moon came out—it was beautiful and of course Harkirat saw this as a perfect opportunity to pull her camera out and take a picture of it! The boys spent the entire game discussing whether it would be classy or not to propose to a girl at a baseball stadium.
Anup and Brendan asked for everyone’s food tickets in anticipation of bringing “group food” but then they ended up using it for themselves. Finally the game ended; the Indians had lost. The group made their way to one of the other intern’s home and enjoyed mingling with the other Glennterns who were not from the Academy. A good time was had by all.