National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Week 8

Sunday July 24, 2011

Sunday was… well, becoming for the Academy. Luck was on David and Logan’s side when their fire returned from a dormant sleep to revisit as a blazing inferno, sending the raccoons who had been lingering by the fire scattering into the woods. Upon seeing the raccoons, the two brave souls proceeded to fight the furious flames with one hand and rascally rodents with the other, and then return to the car for a decent night sleep as they anticipated the raccoon’s revenge. Others in the Academy, namely Cameron and Mike J., did something yet to be done during our time together camping, and that was to actually sleep in a real tent. Like idiots, Michael B., Molly, and Mike N. didn’t and decided to sleep in a pond or something.

After the three dwellers of the futile tent took some time to acclimate to dry land again, the group drove off in search of the most delicious breakfast ever. Mike N., like most people do in July, ordered a steaming cup of hot chocolate, however was disappointed when he realized that hot chocolate was not made in a pot to be refilled whenever needed as coffee typically is. Cameron made the decision to order pie as an appetizer, while David decided rather than just order a farmer’s omelet, that he would name every single ingredient that goes in to making one. The meal was amazing regardless, and shortly thereafter the confident kids embarked on what would become the most foolish folly yet fulfilled in their time here.

As is customary with important experiential tests, the Academites decided to say, “Hey, this baseball diamond looks like a good place to launch, let’s just wing it from here.” With half meticulous plan, half spontaneous strategy, the group put the finishing touches on what would be SBS-1X, their test launch of the microgravity weather balloon experiment. This would be done to prepare and learn for the future large scale launch. Feeling astonishingly convinced that the day would end about an hour later when their balloon made a safe landing into a bowling alley; the group released their magnificent creation and cheered as it soared to high heights yet unknown to cell phone transmission capabilities. Watching the big balloon climb away in to the blazing noon sun, the group gazed at what was once a wide white balloon fade into a mere speck upon the cloud-parting sky.

SBS-1X was never seen again. Its whereabouts are still unknown to this day.

After hours of hunting corn field after corn field, with some soccer mixed in, one group returned to the Studio Plus with their tails between their legs. The other group decided to forget their worries and headed home as well. The sleepy crews arrived back at the hotel ready for nothing other than sleep in an attempt to retrieve some sense of Hakuna Matata.

Monday July 25, 2011


After the big success the day before, the Academites were looking forward to a full day of relaxation. After a full day of work at Glenn, the Academy relaxed for a full five minutes before attending meeting number one, the RAP session. After making it back to StudioPlus, everyone was able to stretch out for at least 10 minutes before heading to meeting number two, listening to Vince Bilardo. Following the pizza enriched talk, everyone returned to their rooms for three minutes of peace before returning directly back to the conference room for meeting number 3; deciding the fate of PHAME. One full whiteboard and some “Double Stuf” Oreos later the decision to pursue launch was reached. Timelines were made and in true NASA spirit a semi-reorganization was completed before retiring for the night.

Tuesday July 26, 2011

The Academy members could hardly stay asleep as their excitement and anticipation for the HBCU conference continued to grow. A group of Michelle, Cameron, Molly, and Michael B. had to awake extra early as there were travelling in the early bus. The rest of the group hit up the late bus all nonchalantly, chaperoning better than anyone has ever chaperoned before. Upon arrival, group walked aimlessly as Mike N. asked the nice lady at check in “hey, where’s breakfast at?” The group then listened to several speakers and returned to the first floor for poster presentations. Logan, unhappy with the fact he was unable to present and realizing that he was better at presenting other people’s posters than they themselves were, helped out his fellow Academy members by stepping in and informing captivated audiences about a wide range of topics.

Next came lunch, which was a beautiful array of sandwiches and goodness. Fearing what was likely going to be ordarves orderves oraderveses orderven French-food-typically-associated-with-food-you-before-a-real-meal for dinner, the Academy ate everything in sight. Most of the group then went on to the electric propulsion talk.

For the conclusion of the day the group (sans David) left for the Great Lakes Science Center.

David was never seen again. His whereabouts are still unknown to this day.

Actually, he just missed the first bus.

Anyway, the food was pretty much an amazing array of pasta, meatballs, sausage, and other delicious delicacies typically associated with what would constitute as a real dinner. The group then moseyed their ways about the center with varying degrees of success. Andrew, Mike N., and Logan each tried their hand at being astronauts. It is still not clear on how the thruster for the space lander works. Mike N. and Andrew then got entranced by a laser that, in all honesty, was phenomenal. The Academy was embarrassed on the baseball diamond as well, but not so much on the keyboard. Gliding his magical mittens atop of ivory keys, David summoned the angels and all things heavenly as he first melted hearts, and later stole them.

The group then watched IMAX Hubble with eyes peeled back in astonishment. Due to David’s ability to become a female’s fantasy, it was down to Mike N. and Logan as to who would have to ride the early bus tomorrow. Logan, understanding Mike N.’s unwillingness to awake at an early hour, threw the match so that his friend could get an extra hour of sleep. Logan is nice.

Wednesday July 27, 2011

The conference on Tuesday was so exciting that the Academites decided to go back for a second serving of awesome. After a de-ja-vu breakfast and some intriguing lectures most everyone wound up in an empty classroom to hash out the particulars of the drag shield design. However, before too long, Mike N., David, Cameron, and Molly were pulled away to once again present their magnificent posters. At one point the guys traded personas (and name badges), doing their best to become instant experts on a new topic. Despite their cries of desperation, the Academites were forcefully dragged away from their posters and upstairs to lunch. While dining on slices of pizza bigger than David’s childlike imagination, the Academites listened to a panel where renowned NASA men answered mostly scripted questions and then rolled their eyes at a particularly long paragraphical question. Actually, the talk was quite interesting and the Academites commented that this was the best part of the day. After the discussion, it was back to work on the group project. Andrew took a cadaver nap and a tomb of chairs was built in his memory.

With the conference complete, everyone loaded onto the buses and headed back to StudioPlus for everyone’s favorite pastime: pool volleyball. Two kids were not intimidated by Luigi’s cannonball and joined in the volleyball fun. Before a real game could commence, an extremely rude lady decided that she didn’t have to wait to use the pool…sad days. While some Academites returned upstairs for work and rest, others decided that it was appropriate to have more fun. Because they are so awesome, Michael B., Mike N., and Logan, with a mixed bag of other interns, dared to go where no StudioPlusian had gone before — to the Jacuzzi down the street.

Thursday July 28, 2011

Thursday was a day in which minutes felt like hours and hours felt like days. After the two previous days were held at Cleveland State, getting back into the swing of things at work proved a mighty task indeed. This was aided by the group deciding to work an extra hour and then continue the day trying to figure out which direction something would drop if dropped from earth.

On the way to Lowe’s, a tired Cameron nearly lost it as a bag floated aimlessly upwards and in a roundabout fashion. No one else was amused. The group left Lowe’s feeling comfortable with their purchases and returned to their humble abode once again.

Friday July 29, 2011

Although the morning seemed normal at first, a few emails revealed that not only did the Academites have to finalize their practiced and refined presentation for upper management; it had to be dramatically reduced in length. After a well choreographed email dance, the Academites worked hard on their individual research until three, at which point they met up in their newly founded lab space in the drop tower building to make progress on their group project. David left a trail of drool as he followed Mike J. to Case Western to tinker with some electronics. Back at the drop tower, Plexiglas was being filed into circles while Luigi crafted some high quality fins on the band saw. Andrew briefly joined the festivities and, in a very lizardy moment, stole a bite of Molly’s sandwich.

Feeling accomplished the gang returned to StudioPlus to experience a miracle. Nothing was scheduled for the night, and it stayed that way. A game of Spades and a game of Weist (only for the dimwitted apparently) later, everyone was about to hit the hay when all of the sudden StudioPlus reminded us why they are the cool kids in town…FIRE ALARM! After the annoying interruption games were finished and beds were jumped into with no reason to get out of them for a long, long time.

Oh yeah, after taking Mike N. to the airport, Logan snuggled up with a large bowl of ice cream and slowly cried himself to sleep.

Saturday July 30, 2011

As some members of the Academy (namely Cameron and David) slept the day away, other ventured toward the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in an attempt to find their true selves. Michelle was the first to return to her natural habitat, as the group ventured into Australia and toward the koala exhibit. After meandering about for a while, a David kangaroo was spotted, as was the cutest animal in the world (a red panda), some playful monkeys, some log chewing gorillas, and a front-leg-running fossa. Later, Logan’s cousin, the Mexican grey wolf, was spotted, as was Lizard Mom’s lizard companion. The closest thing to a Molly, the zebra, was needed as a substitute, and a fallen brother of Michael B. was spotted in the eagle cage. Lastly, a true Cameron bear was seen, as it was determined that Cameron was actually a sloth bear, which seemed to fit his personality much better.

After the exhausted safari hunters made it back home, it was time to epoxy the parachute cords to the drag shield in a very precise and methodical manner. Once completed, it was time for the highlight of the day. The Academites drove to Little Ceaser’s and purchased not 1, not 3, not 7, not 8, but 9, count them 9 hot and almost ready’s. Cameron (a.k.a. the newcomer) had challenged Andrew (a.k.a. the season veteran) to a classic eating competition. Both competitors had 10 minutes between the end of slice to the end of the next slice to scarf down as much greasy cheese and pepperoni as possible. They adopted different pizza consuming styles and were neck and neck for the first half of pizza. Then slowly but surely Cameron took a one slice lead. Both competitors slowed in speed as they continued to eat more and more. At one point Andrew considered throwing in the towel as he feared defeat. Still a slice ahead, Cameron ran out of time on his last slice of his second pizza with only 2 bites to go. Seconds later Cameron sprinted and made an epic slide into the hallway to have a reversal of fortune. Cameron then felt terrific. Andrew then finished the slice he was on and picked up his last slice of his second pie. With ten minutes to get farther than Cameron, he struggled with every bite. With only 10 seconds left on the clock, he swallowed the bite that defeated the Cameron.

Strangely David did not witness the pizza battle, because he was expected across town by Mike J. to continue work on the electronics. However, David showed up an hour late because he took Mike J.’s car on an unauthorized trip to Applebee’s. You see, a commercial prompted David to go and eat by himself using someone else’s car when he was already late.

While everyone else slept or played “wood chips are lava” and “Michael B. is it,” Logan decided it was a good time to start the evening. As other Academites began entering party room alpha, Logan decided he needed to talk with Andrew. This led to a four minute voice mail message for Andrew in which everyone took part in.

The night continued at Derek’s (another intern) house, and the party continued at the Market Garden on West 25th. Some fingers were probably pointed, some feelings may have been hurt, but for the most part, good times were had all around and Molly took the scenic route back to the studio plus thanks to Logan’s magnificent ability to use the GPS feature on Molly’s phone which strangely looks like her Facebook page.