Monday, June 25th
Just back from an adventurous weekend, everyone was a little tired when they headed into work Monday. Nevertheless, the interns remained as industrious as always, with the exception of a mid-morning break for the 110ers to watch a microgravity experiment being performed in the drop tower. After a RAP session, everyone headed back to Homestead to try to finish cleaning up from camping. This mostly went well, although the Homestead washers were unable to remove all the spelunk from the caving clothes.
Tuesday, June 26th
Busy bees depart
To Socal and in and out
Cherry blossoms bloom
The group woke up and departed for a short day of work. Monumental breakthroughs were made and mid-term presentations created. The team met up in the hanger parking lot for a shuttle ride to the airport. The Space Academy shirts were revealed to the world and the Aero Academy RAs felt terrible for not being cool and matching like we did. After riding shuttles to the airport and checking in, the Space Academy jumped on the plane and headed off. The first stop was Chicago. Food was quickly eaten and we were back on a plane headed for St. Louis. Our stop in St. Louis did not require getting off the plane so the Academy RAs hung out on the run way for about 45 minutes. Because of the break and a super awesome pilot, many of the Academites were able to sit in the cock pit and pretend that we were equally as awesome as he was. Thanks again to the awesome pilot we all received coloring books and were happy for the rest of the flight!
After our last leg of travel and passing some particularly impressive thunderstorms we landed in LA, rented cars and had a late dinner at In-Out. Everyone passed out in super comfy beds at about 5 am Cleveland time and dreamt of the exciting tours ahead.
Wednesday, June 27th
On Wednesday morning the interns got up early to go to Scaled Composites for their first tour. Although the non-aero engineers were a little overwhelmed by the airplane-focused atmosphere, everyone was still impressed by SpaceShipTwo and both White Knights. The tour also marked the trip’s first important networking opportunity, and Glenn interns made sure to take advantage of it by giving their business cards to everyone around. After the Scaled Composites tour, the Space Cadets went to Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) to learn more about airplanes. When the tour’s start was delayed, many of the interns used the time to follow Molly’s advice for making aircraft feel more powerful and got right up close to the center’s SR-71 Blackbird. Later, during the tour, Glenn interns continued to multi-task by passing out their business cards as well as listening to the speakers. That night, most of the group went out to dinner, where they experienced a business model in which water dispensation to customers is carefully avoided by the waiters. While the rest of the interns were eating, Molly went to meet up with her family and Kathleen climbed a hill.
Thursday, June 28th
Morning sun rises
U.S. Military aircrafts
The academy was bright eyed and busy tailed as everyone ate breakfast at 6 am and left for General Atomics (GA). After a two hour drive we arrived at GA and met Molly’s dad, who is super cool. The RA’s had a very informative tour. After Molly successfully opened a second bank account with the same bank after losing her wallet, everyone had lunch and then headed off to the new hotel. After brief rejoicing in our awesome pool and complimentary apples we again loaded up the cards and headed out for a tour.
After an informative lecture about what a job at a Boeing C-17 plant is like, the students got to tour some C-17’s. The excitement of the gigantic C-17’s was only eclipsed by seeing cubicles surrounded by barbwire. Afterword, the majority of group went out to an Italian restaurant and ate delicious food from an old Italian man who was wearing more rings than all of the Academites combined. Taichi further disproved his Japanese heritage by misidentifying a Japanese symbol. Then, after dinner, the group invaded the pool. Splashing and dunking ensued and Batman triumphed over the forces of Stevil.
Friday, June 29th
Friday’s touring started off with another set of presentations from Boeing, where the Academites learned about composite manufacturing and the X48C that they had observed at Dryden earlier in the week. This was followed by a trip to SpaceX. Even without the promised free frozen yogurt from the cafeteria, getting to see the first Dragon capsule to go to space, a Dragon capsule almost ready for launch, and learning about SpaceX’s production processes and atmosphere were exciting for everyone. The tour of JPL later in the day, featuring the MSL’s twin in its test facility, was also a definite success.
After the tour of JPL, the weekend continued in Santa Monica on an extension of the Southern California trip. That night, they checked into a hostel by the beach and a group of students met up with one of the SpaceX tour guides, Andrew (NASA Glenn Space Academy ’09 and Manager of Glenn Space Academy ’11). Awesome networking concluded with an expedition to the Pacific Ocean.
Saturday, June 30th
Throughout LA we all fly
Until regrouping for a hellish 17 hour trip back to Cleveland.
Saturday morning the Academites woke up, checked out of the hostel and headed off, either to meet friends or to eat delicious crepes. Delicious crepes were eaten by most and then the group went off and enjoyed the city. Molly left to spend time with her family, while Brian, Spencer, and Kirsti took a train into LA to see the sights. The rest of the group explored Santa Monica. The pier was thoroughly explored, relaxing beach time had, and aimless wandering was carried out by most. Game stores were invaded, movies watched, and then much of the group met back up briefly at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Molly, Spencer, Brian, and Kirsti stayed at the restaurant while Kathleen, Jacob, Nathan, and some Aero kids found a super awesome hotel with neat fires on balconies looking over the Santa Monica beach. Then the worst happened.
Nathan’s water bottle was lost. Or more likely, Nathan’s water bottle was stolen from him because it is unlikely Nathan would lose something on his own. Everyone mourned the loss of Nathan’s water bottle for the rest of the night. Then it was time to head to the airport. Molly and Jacob woke themselves up from their naps on the beach. Nathan left the hotel hot tub where he was pretending to be a guest. Gina and Samira left their respective friends. Kathleen received a ride from Aero kids. Brian, Kirsti, and Spencer stopped doing whatever they were doing, and everyone headed for the airport. After a smooth check in and plane boarding, the Space Academy left LA around 6 am on what was expected to be a nice trip home.
Sunday, July 1st
The interns landed in Chicago at the same time as a big storm, so no one was surprised when flights were delayed. Space Academites were split across two flights for the trip back to Cleveland, and while the first one got out only about 2 hours later than anticipated, the second was stuck in the airport for hours with mechanical problems. Eventually though, everyone did make it back to Homestead, with a $200 voucher for future flights.