Saturday, July 13, 2013

ISAS 2013 Academy 1: Day 6

The students' day began with a presentation from the Boise State University Microgravity Team. This team submitted a research proposal to NASA and after it was accepted they put it in over 1200 hours each to make the project ready for a flight in the 'Weightless Wonder', which is a C-9 aircraft that as it flies in parabolic curves simulates weightlessness for thirty seconds at a time. This team's research was based on preserving bone calcium and preventing osteoporosis.

Boise State University's microgravity team speaks to ISAS students in a presentation.

Next Ralph Peterson gave a presentation on the program called Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) which consists of an infrared telescope mounted in a plane that flies at 38,000 feet. This allows the infrared light from stars to be seen and that data used for research. The program allows for teams of educators to join the flight and Mr. Peterson spoke of his experience.

Mr. Peterson  stands in front of a SOFIA display at NASA Ames Research Center.

Soon afterwards students had the opportunity to participate in a videocon with Dan Isla who is a Boise State University graduate and Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. Mr. Isla worked on the Assembly Test and Launch Operations Team (ATLO) for the Mars Rover Curiosity and talked about the rover's activities on the planet and its instrumentation. Students posed the questions, "What is the optimal temperature for the rover to keep working?" And, "Can we use nuclear propulsion to provide electricity at the same time?" Also, "How do you safegaurd the electronics from the effects of radiation?" If you would like to know the answers to these questions yourselves be sure to come down to the banquet on Saturday and ask the students.

Students have a virtual chat with Dan Isla on the Curiosity Rover. 

The students had the opportunity to participate in workshops that provided a hands on approach to different career fields including hydrology, chemistry, biology, cryptology, and robotics. The students worked with college students, graduate students and professors to complete different experiments in these areas of study.

A student writes programming in a cryptology workshop. 
These students are working hard to prepare for the banquet on Saturday where they will present their final presentation. They have accomplished much this past week at the academy and they are excited to share what they have learned with you. We hope to see you tomorrow!

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