Monday, August 6th
Monday started the last week of the academy. The day was filled with paper writing and diligently working on the group project. We had a talk at lunchtime with Mary Wadel about success. It was very informative. After work was our very last RAP session, and Molly was severely disappointed in the lack of quotes for the week. That night was spent on the group project by most. It started the week of no sleep for Spencer and a few others.
Tuesday, August 7th
Tuesday was a busy day of group project and papers. The awards banquet scheduled for the next day was cancelled, but it had the possibility of being rescheduled. We were inducted into the NAAA at the end of work, where Molly looked awesome and cult-like in Jacob’s black cape. Next, the group met with Mac to discuss where we were going to drop our dropsonde the next day. We decided not to drop at Plumbrook like originally planned, but to drop at Canton Air Sports where we had skydived earlier in the summer. That night was the night before the intended drop, so everyone was crazy busy making the final touches on the dropsonde. Kirsti and Nathan attached the parachute to the dropsonde, and we all were getting very excited. Little sleep was had that night by a few members of the group.
Wednesday, August 8th
Wednesday was crazy. For an hour or so we worked on the group project, but then we went to a fascinating lecture at 9:30 by Matt Melis on the Space Shuttle and the Columbia Tragedy. News had just reached us that the banquet had been rescheduled for that day at 3. This was not good at all because we had our dropsonde drop scheduled already at that same time. Since the banquet was required for us to attend, a very frustrating couple of hours then ensued. We tried to find the GPS signal we needed for the guidance software. We also tried to contact Forrest Barber at Canton for a couple hours to see if we could possibly drop the next day. Finally, around 3 we decided that we were going to drop the next morning. Everybody went to the awards ceremony and had a great time listening to an astronaut, Greg Johnson, and receiving certificates for our work done this summer. Five of us went to meet with Mac after the awards ceremony where we discussed some final questions and concerns about the dropsonde. That night was again spent working on some final preparations for the group project. Half of the group was up until 2 or 3 am working on it, which was awful considering we left the hotel at 5:30 the next morning.
Thursday, August 9th
Launch day. The interns awoke after about two hours of sleep, at five in the morning. They went to Dunkin Donuts and fueled their fiery souls. Despite Jacob being one of the two hour sleepers, he managed to drive the van whilst others slept. Upon arrival around 7 AM, the interns got down to business. Spencer, feeling rejuvenated from his nap in the van, gave it everything he had. Forrest, owner of the airfield, showed us old airplanes, a cat, and let us drive his golf cart around (it ran out of gas in the middle of the runway). Unfortunately, after 4 hours of work, the launch seemed farther away than the previous night. After some discussion, some of the interns had to leave for interviews for the Logistics and Operations Manager (LOM) position. The rest stayed behind in a futile attempt to launch. Eventually they too failed and began the journey back to NASA. Meanwhile, the LOM interviews took place with Molly and Dr. Kankam. After the interviews, the interviewees bid Molly a final farewell. After that, it was crunch time. Papers were written well into the early morning hours.
Friday, August 10th
Finishing touches were put on the papers. Some mentors reviewed our final products and gave their judgments. Once everything was finally finished, the interns said their last goodbyes to NASA. They dropped off their papers to Bernice, finally. The interns went to the gift shop to spend hundreds of dollars, and left Glenn, for the last time. They went to Chipotle for lunch, but in the time to spare some ran over to Five Below where Kathleen put on a juggling show. Once the 110 group caught up, they devoured their Chipotle. Gina went to Conrad’s for cheap, while the other interns shopped for Molly’s gifts. After some time at the hotel, the interns commenced with Molly’s “Sneaky Plans”, put into place since she had to be in a wedding. “Sneaky Plans” involved a dinner at the 100th Bomb Group. The food was excellent, and Gina got to watch lots of airplanes. The group returned for superlative announcements, top ten experience lists, and the tear jerking videos put together by Molly. Then, in the final hours before sleep took them, Nathan’s and Jacob’s fiery souls brought forth, the Secret Handshake of the NASA Glenn Research Center Space Academy 2012. So ends the last night in Homestead.
Saturday, August 11th
SADness. Ever the theme of the Academy. “I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are in evil.” –Gandalf. The interns said some of the saddest goodbyes any of us ever had to say and headed their separate ways; some to the airport, some on an epic roadtrip, and one right down the road. And so concludes the epicness that was the 2012 NASA Glenn Academy for Space Exploration.