National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Week 6

Monday, July 9, 2012

Team VIPR (Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research) arrived bright and early to work, Monday with their usual strong work ethic. Dan had actually found a toy in his Honey Nut Cheerio’s box, so team VIPR (except Melanie) set out to determine how well this toy worked. Reed and Heath used Reed’s water bottle to fill up the toy with water. Upon doing this, Dan said to hit him with the water gun. Naturally, Dan created a target for Heath to hit. Heath aimed expecting the water from the water gun to go about a foot. The water from Dan’s water gun ended up going, at least at three feet. However, the toy water gun exceeded all stereotypes, shot over Dan’s head, and hit the white board. With a quick start, the Monday eventually became monotonous as always.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

After the presentation from Dr. DiCarlo, the Academy students watched all of the Aeronautics Scholars practice their Headquarters presentations as well as present their own work. After work, Dan did really well against some other folks from NASA at Ultimate Frisbee. The real fun that day occurred in the evening back at the hotel when Mr. Benson gave his talk on the state of NASA aero program. Much to the dismay of Reed and Melanie, there was not a single bratwurst & sauerkraut pizza about which the toastmasters Steve and Dennis had been telling everyone since a week before the talk. It was really hot in that conference room.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Wednesday there was a Ballistics Lab tour. It was cool to see how NASA shoots stuff at specifically designed walls and studies the ensuring explosion. Heath’s favorite projectile was the bird in the bag that got shot at the wall. It exploded into quite a few pieces.

We had a video conference presentation on Airships from a presenter at the Ames Research Center. All members of the VIPR except Melanie headed out to the presentation together except for Melanie. Characteristic of her studious habit and punctuality, Melanie had already left ahead of the rest of the group. In describing the Airship presentation, Reed said it best, “It was a bit like listening to a madman describing his ultimate solution to all problems in the world… Listen to me! One day, you’ll see, they’ll be flying everyone, they’ll bond the isolated Alaskan communities, we’ll be traveling to Canada on them, and SHARE MY VISION!!!” We also found out that Canada’s population is too close to us, proximity-wise, and therefore we’ll build the American Wall of Freedom to block entry into the US.

And then after work, Heath went to play softball.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

All of the Aeronautics and Space Academies RAs in the RH Division were given an all-day tour around the Glenn Center. We finally got to ride in the shuttle that the other interns had been riding to and from Building 500 for the first half of the summer. We saw the twin of a communication module being loaded onto a large rocket-shaped Prius in Japan for a trip to the ISS. We saw a considerable amount of high-temperature electronics.

In the evening, we had the second talk by Mr. Tom Benson. This time we were at the Manhattan Deli where he told us all about his life. The moral of the story: “Don’t become the job” and “The training toilet for astronauts has an upward-facing camera in the bowl.” He spoke for much longer than any of the other speakers we have had, but actually held our attention. Then he bought us dessert which was really nice of him.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The 10 x 10 tour was conducted on Friday, July 13. It was pretty cool to see the gargantuan size of the supersonic wind tunnel. It was an amazing feat of engineering back in the fifties. The size of the hydraulic machines (for adjusting the size of the wind tunnel into the proper converging, diverging nozzle) was huge. They must have at least been ten feet. They also had the accuracy to adjust to within the size of a piece of paper. The control room was epic with a ton of big screens, really comfortable chairs, and an old looking set of controls that made you think you were in the twilight zone. The amount of electricity that this place uses in 200 Megawatts (close to 1.21 gigawatts)! Overall, it was an impressive place to see, and it is sad to think that wind tunnels like these may be closed.

Also, at lunch, a few of the Aeronautics Academy RAs decided to play the card game of hearts. With nine people there, it seemed that all strategy was lost. Dan managed to be low for 8 rounds and subsequently lose during the last round to someone else in the workplace named Jonathan. It was a valiant effort by Dan, and he should be commended for it. Also, it was really fun for everyone.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Most of the group went to Cedar Point and rode roller coasters. Nothing really extraordinary happened except that Macie and Heath were the only people who got to ride Dragster, even though the rest of the group spent at least 4 hours in line for it. During their first time in the line, the group had waited for 2.5 hours until there was a mechanical issue. They tried again later only to be stopped, after an hour of waiting by rain.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Everyone used this day to take care of their personal errands. No group activity took place.