USLI -- Travel Update: Awesome Tours, Awesome Rocket Fair, Launch Delayed

I was originally planning to post an update every day, but right now is honestly the first time I've had a moment of rest since the outset of the journey.

We were supposed to be launching today. In fact, we were planning to have our rocket on the rack fifteen minutes ago, but the launch was canceled today. The weather is pretty nice, but there is a low cloud ceiling (~900 ft), so we can't launch because of the FAA regulations. The launch was pushed back to Sunday, which unfortunately means that we will be rushed to get our rocket in the air, and then we will have to leave early to go back to Iowa and miss most of the launches.

The good news is that the rest of the activities have been VERY interesting and exciting. I don't have time to dig through all my pictures yet, but I took quite a few good ones.

Yesterday (Friday) was the rocket fair. The rocket fair is the second most fun part of the trip. I didn't even get to see all of the teams' displays, but I saw most of them. We took shifts manning our own display so that everyone could have an opportunity to walk around and check out the other projects. I cannot believe how awesome some of the projects. We had a pretty awesome project ourselves. I heard lots of people talking about that "Quad-rotor" project when I was walking around; gave me a good feeling. The rocket fair was also a great opportunity to network with people: other students, NAR people, NASA engineers (who came to the rocket fair on their lunch break), and a host of other rocketry big-wigs. We made some great friends and connections.

The day before that (Thursday) we went on some tours of facilities at the Marshall Space Flight Center. This year's tours were even more exciting than last year! We got to see the Advanced Manufacturing facility, the Propulsions Lab (AWESOME!!!), and a few giant thrust stands that we got to climb around on (perhaps we were not supposed to). I will post some great pictures after the trip. That evening we had our rocket inspections, which we passed with only three minor items on our fix-it list (less than last year!) They were little things like "install batteries and use zip-ties," "Mark CP on outside of rocket," and "replace this shock cord, it looks a little crusty."

So on the plus-side of this postponed launch, we have all day today to work on the payload and get it to work better. Looking forward to an awesome launch on Sunday!

Also, you can watch the event live on the internet! The launch will start around 7:30 am with the first rocket flights at 8:00 or 8:30.


1 comment:

Barton Wilson said...

Hmm, that “Quad-rotor” project sounds interesting. And to see and meet NASA engineers is quite something! Being connected with them must be cool. Anyway, that rocket fair is truly a must see for all, be it the young or old. It’s informative and yet an exciting event.