The 6-day program at the ‘US Space and Research Center, Huntsville, Alabama’ taught me lessons that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The program was designed to help students with the passion of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) to understand the far reaches of the technology and science in the dazzling universe we live. Their moto was to teach the students of the upcoming generation about important qualities such as leadership, team building, cooperation, agility, perseverance, and physical and mental strength. The participants arrived from all over the globe from over 100 countries. It was an amazing platform to understand people and cultures of many different places and share mine with them.
The program begun with amusing simulators and experiencing the wonders of the gravity and its force. The former Astronauts of few major missions by NASA expounded their experiences and the work that goes behind each mission. We were unfolded to some missions like the Voyager, Pioneer program, Cassini Huygens, Curiosity and Apollo 50. It was a pleasure to be addressed by and to personally meet Robert Lee “hoot” Gibson, also called ‘The Man Who Has Flown Everything’, a former NASA astronaut, a naval officer, an aviator, an aeronautical engineer, a test pilot and a Reno air race pilot.
Fortunately, I was able to witness one of the major training that is performed by pilots and astronauts to prepare and tumble into earth’s atmosphere, called ‘The Astronaut Multi Axis Training’, the 3-axis gimbal for the cardiovascular and equilibrioception training.
We were made to do physical challenges like to climb a 38 feet pole and stand on the disc that could move, rock climbing, wall climbing, field activities and so much more. As it remains a very important factor to be physically as well as mentally prepared for the astronauts and pilots to fly, to learn about their preparedness was enchanting.
Besides these activities, the participants had Incident command challenges (to help the public in case of crisis), ISS missions (To conduct experiments in a space station environment. I received a chance to be the station commander in my mission), several team-building activities, experiencing moonwalk with 1/6th of earths gravity, to fly plane simulators of the F 15 eagle, Fairchild Republic A10, F/A 18 Hornet, Falcon 7X and the Harrier jump jet. We worked in teams and constructed a rocket from coding the projectile in a Raspberry Pie to assembling and flying it successfully. The crew trainers would also conduct fun activities like Trivia night, Movie night, Karaoke night and DJ night.
I was looking forward to this program for a long time and I would like to thank Honeywell and Treamis World School for this opportunity and their constant support. Although this was just a 6-day program, the memories that I gathered and the friends I made will always be close to my heart forever.
Written by Anagha Rao