4/15/11

Day One: NASA, Rocket Prep and Inspection

 The first day was the "fun" day, and we got to go behind the scenes of many of the NASA facilities there at Marshall Space Flight Center. Of the more interesting that we did was the friction stir welding, the life support systems facility, and the ISS Payload Operations Center.

We then headed back to the hotel to get our rocket inspected, where it was scrutinized thoroughly by very experienced rocketeers.

This shot is of the meeting at the beginning of the day, and shows just how many people are here for this event. We got to meet a few other teams here, including one guy that was on a team by himself.


This is one of the pieces they are fabricating using the method of friction stir welding. It is such a good method that it makes to pieces and turns them into one piece. They've never had to redo a welding job ever. Basically, how it works is that it has a spinny thing that rubs the metal so hard that it melts under the heat of friction, and then they stir it around and mix it up, and there you have it.


This here was originally going to be part of the Space Station, but it never got fully funded, so this place got it, and they use it to exercise in an our a day to collect sweat that they use for experimentation.


This building had giant doors:


The Payload Operations Center was very interesting. It receives data from every US experiment on the station and controls the operation of said experiments.


The minimum amount of monitors per computer I saw was maybe five. One computer workstation had ten monitors surrounding it in a perimeter.

The Payload Operations Center also has Shuttle Observation room which could serve as a mini control room in the event that there was a really bad storm or hurricane in Houston. While the guy was talking I opened up Minesweeper and got the high score. So now any engineers that play minesweeper on that computer are going to see my name.


Saturn V mock-up.


Getting ready for inspection: How many aerospace engineers does it take to screw in an eye-bolt?


Inspection went well. We only got four fixes on our fix-it sheet, all of which were doable.


Inspecting the altimeters.


I do enjoy converting hotel rooms into rocket workshops. 

 

1 comment:

Evergreena said...

Hehehe... minesweeper. :)

It looks like you're having a great time. Blessings on your launch!

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