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September 12, 2008

Space Camp had to be the funnest part of my life yet. Let me start from the beginning. Me and my parents left for Minneapolis to catch a 5:00 AM flight to Charlotte, North Carolina and then off to Huntsville, Alabama. It was my first time flying in a passenger jet, and I have to admit I was nervous because of two reasons: 1, terrorist/World Trade Center and 2, we KEPT hitting turbulence. It was SO annoying. 😀 I was so tired, but I just couldn’t sleep on the plane. We arrived in Charlotte at about 10 AM, had some lunch and then hopped on the next plane. We landed safely and arrived at Space Camp around 2:30 that day. We entered Hab 1, where everyone sleeps. This lady handed my my name tag and my “linens” and told me what room I was and to choose a bed and make it, and be back by 3:00. I was really nervous, because I knew my parents were going to leave and I didn’t know a PERSON there. After looking around my room and making my bed, we went to the museum and came back at three. The lady said to say good-bye to our parents now because we had to go to orientation. I hugged my parents and walked with the lady. We went to Challenger Auditorium, where a girl and two guys were sitting. I went to sit by the girl, who’s name was Migdalia. She was an awesome friend. Across the row were the two guys, James and Justin. Eventually, four other people came in, two more guys, (Milton and Owen) and two more girls (Katie and Rebecca). We got the orentation and then met our counselor, John. When orentation was over, we got shown around the place. I couldn’t wait until we got to go to bed, for I had woken up at 3:00 AM that morning and was EXHAUSTED. Finally we ate supper, had free time, and got to go to bed!! The next morning when I woke up, I was nervous no more. I knew I was going to have a great time there. I instantly became best buds with Rebecca and James, for we were all very much alike because we were quiet and shy for the most part. We were the “quiet three”. 😀 😆
Well, that second day we were shown around “Mission Control” where we’d be doing our missions and the Space Shuttle “Atlantis” (not the real one). Then, they asked us to fill out a form which would determine our positions in two different missions. The questions were like “What is your favorite subject” and “What position would you like most?” For my No. 1 position I put Mission Specialist, who rides aboard the Shuttle and performs spacewalks. My second choice was Capsule Communicator (Capcom)/Flight Director(Flight).
Well, the next day they told us the outcome, and I got my choice! I was Mission Specialist 2, or MS2. James got the position of Pilot, Justin was Commander, and Katie was MS1. The mission went great, but the “spacewalk” was just torture. We had to wear fake suits that made you sweat SO bad, and helmets that hurt your shoulders. 🙄 When you tried to put the visor up, it just came back down so you were breathing your own hot breath on yourself. It was actually only ten minutes, but it seemed alot longer. We were sitting in zero-g chairs that were very difficult. If you wanted to go up, all you had to do was lightly touch the floor with your foot and you’d shoot up. If you wanted to go down, however, you had to push yourself down with your arms, which was painful with the helmet. So you had to use your feet to pull yourself down. Owen even commented to me about how hard it was. Well, we finished the spacewalk (called “EVA”) and went back into the Space Shuttle, but not in time to close the payload bay doors (which the pilot had to do for us). James and Justin kept arguing, because Justin thought he could do James’ job as well as his, and I was very tempted to say “Hey, do you want me to come up there?” Other than that, the mission went perfectly. We even had a successful landing!! That same day (although much later) Joseph (another counselor) announced the jobs for Mission 2. Owen, (who was Capcom for the last mission) knew I wanted to be Capcom for this one, and warned me how confusing it was. Allow me to explain. Usually, teams have about 16 members, and our team (Named Atlas after John Glenn’s rocket) only had 8 kids. So, a couple of us had to have two jobs. They decided that Capcom and Flight Director should be merged together. And those are the two biggest jobs in Mission Control! Now, Capcom is the only person in Mission  Control ow can talk to the astronauts aboard the shuttle, and Flight Director is in charge of EVERYTHING. Two important jobs.
So, while doing the job, Capcom has to switch between channels, talk to himself, talk to the astronauts AND talk to Mission Control. While I was Capcom, I had my own computer with two screens. One to watch the astronauts, I could see everything they did. The other screen was for data, such as fuel levels and landing, altitude and all that stuff. We talked to eachother via headsets, which was really fun and just added to the realism. That mission was really fun, better than the first. James was pilot again, Milton was Commander (CDR) Rebecca was MS1 and Owen was MS2. Another thing about being Mission Specialist, you only say one word in the script until after launch. That’s nine minutes and one word. The one word is when Flight is checking if everyone is “go for launch”. You say “Go.” and that’s it. We joked about it all the time. I have to admit, I actually didn’t miss anyone while I was gone. That was a great experience, and I hope I’ll get to go back someday. Amazingly, I was the only one out of Team Atlas that wanted to be an astronaut when I grow up. Then, at the end, James said he thought he might want to be too. Maybe I’ll see him sometime… I will miss all of them so much!! I am glad I have pictures of everyone. Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you. I met a rocket scientist! A REAL LIFE ROCKET SCIENTIST!! He was a co-worker of the famous Dr. Wernher Von Braun, and his name was Dr. Von Teisenhower (not really sure about the spelling) and he was so cool. Before John took us in there, he stopped us and said something like this: “Now, this guy is really old, he’s like 94, and he’s German, and alot of those German guys have lost their sense of humor. Now try to be quiet and listen and don’t talk.” Amazingly, everyone was very quiet, but it turned out that John was very wrong. This guy was great! He even made a couple jokes. Even though he was 94, he was walking around, and he used one of those old slide projector things. I got a picture with him and an autograph. 🙂
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. The food. That was some of the worst food I have ever eaten, and I had to eat it for six days. Now, I am picky about my food, but this wasn’t a matter of pickiness. NOBODY liked all the food. One day we had apple pie, and I took a bite and made a face. “What in the world did they do to this apple pie?” I said. Everyone laughed like crazy. Usually I love apple pie, but I really don’t know what they did to it to make it taste like THAT. Hey, have you guys ever had Fig Nutens??? They had some cookies there that tasted JUST like Fig Nutens. I am NOT kidding you. Even Rebecca thought so. Fig Nutens with chocolate chips in them… YUCK!! Well, on our last day there, we had what’s called the “Space Bowl”, which is just like the game show Jepoardy but with space questions. We split into teams of four and my team was team “Endeavour” which included Me, James, Rebecca, and Milton. We won some questions and lost some, and then was THE QUESTION. The question went something like “This famous female piloted the Vostok spacecraft in (some date which I can’t remember).” I had only one idea, and it was a crazy one. I knew that Vostok was Russian, and the only Russian female I knew was Valentina Tereshkova, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember her last name. In the Space Bowl, you have buzzers, and whoever touches theirs first gets to answer the question. Neither me nor my opponent hat touched ours, because neither of us knew it. I asked Counselor John if he would take first names, and he said if he knew who we were talking about, then yes. I touched the buzzer, then said, “Ok, this is a very wild guess, but…. Valentina lady?” There was a moment of silence and the suspense was KILLING ME. Then John said “Yes, Valentina Tereshkova!” The room erupted, it really did.  Rebecca grabbed me and lifted me in the air, Milton gave me a hug and James gave me a high-five. I could not beleive that John let me have that one.. Valentina lady! HA! Anyways, the game continued, and it came down to the last question. “The astronauts of this mission didn’t know what hit them when lightning struck their rocket twice.” I was about to answer, and then John saidit was a team topic which meant that our whole team got to answer.  Now, we had JUST learned that a couple hours ago and I was racking my brain for the answer. Milton had the pencil, and didn’t know what to write. James kept saying “Apollo 13!” and I knew it was wrong. I also knew who was on the mission, just not the mission’s name. It was Alan Bean, Gordon Cooper, and Pete Conrad. I have Alan Bean’s autobiography and I knew it waws either Apollo 12 or Apollo 14. We were panicking and I yelled over the noise at Milton, “APOLLO 14! JUST DO IT!” Now, THIS was a betting question, and we had exactly 4300 $ to wager. We agreed to wager 2000 of them. The other team bet all of their points, so either way our team was going to win if the other didn’t. Well, both teams handed in their paper. John said, “And the winner is….. YOU’LL FIND OUT TOMMOROW AT GRADUATION!” We all groaned. That night, we figured out that both of us had lost! For the other team had guessed Apollo 8, and we’d guess Apollo 14, and we’d looked in our books, and the answer was Apollo 12. My other guess.  BUT, we’d WON!! We still had 2,300 points left, and the other team had zero!!!!! For winning the Space bowl, we got a special patch that said “Spacebowl” on it. I will scan a picture of my patches I got soon. I’ve got to go, this is almost 2,000 words. Officially my longest post EVER. And also, today is NARNIA’S BIRTHDAY!!! Please comment on her site and congratulate her, she is now 18. As if you didn’t already know that, LOL!!  I will make another post with pictures soon.

Space Camp Stellar.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2008 2:04 pm

    i actually read that WHOLE POST!!! it took 4 ever. congrats on winning the space bowl game. i will congratulate narnia.

  2. September 12, 2008 6:10 pm

    Ow, my eyes there going cross-eyed from all the writing! LOL
    Anyway sounds like you had a TON of fun! I hate it when u meet ppl and u realllllllllllly get along with them abut in actull fact ur neva gonna see them again!
    I can relate to the food! This one camp I went on ages ago served hamburgers and chips NOT ANY ORDAINARY CHIPS big FAT ONES and they had CHICKEN SALT on them instead of ssalt. Oh and don’t even get me STARTED on the hamburger it had outofdate cheese P{eEW!!!!!!} and the lettuce, tomato and another un-identifiable vegetable! The best part was the meat!

    Can’t wait to see the pichs!

  3. September 12, 2008 7:13 pm

    i went on a skool trip to this place called colebrook, and the food there was like the worst food ever!!! they served like spinach salad and stuff. i had froot loops for breakfast lunch and dinner. and on the last day, they served piza, and they WAAAAAAAY overcooked it, so it was like ashes when it was served, so guess what? i tried the cocoa puffs they had, and they tasted like they put rabbit poo in a jar!!!! so then i just had froot loops (again)

  4. September 12, 2008 7:13 pm

    o and they served hamburgers, but they were like greenish…

  5. September 12, 2008 7:18 pm

    I think I’m gonna puke… PASS ME A BUCKET

  6. September 13, 2008 10:49 am

    the froot loops were good tho…

  7. September 14, 2008 12:05 pm

    i havnt have time to read all that but it seemed like fun with al the smiley faces! ANyhting with space has to be fun! lol

  8. September 14, 2008 12:31 pm

    😀 Yes, it was very fun. My favorite part was the “Valentina Lady” part.

  9. September 16, 2008 3:59 am

    nice new background thingo-magigo

  10. September 16, 2008 8:57 am


  11. September 16, 2008 1:58 pm

    i like the new theme

  12. September 17, 2008 12:47 am

    HEY! I just said that!

  13. September 17, 2008 2:04 am

    Whats that? You say you don’t KNOW what they r?


  14. September 17, 2008 3:37 am

    Nice new theme, though I loved the green and black theme. Seems like you had heaps of fun!!! Good!!! But don’t you have school? Did you miss out on school??? Have you started school?????? Wow, you wrote ALOT, I might read it all a bit later. Sorryyyy.

  15. September 17, 2008 2:49 pm

    i can seeeeeeeee!!! Nice new background steller!!!

  16. September 18, 2008 11:26 am

    Josh, I started school a week after I got home! (This last Monday).

    Crys, I’m going to let it slide this time…

  17. ζiρΦ7 permalink
    September 18, 2008 12:09 pm

    Awesome post Stell! You have accomplished so much!

  18. September 18, 2008 12:42 pm

    Thanks, Zipo! Hey, where have you been?? We haven’t seen you around here in a while.. hey, what am I saying?? I haven’t seen myself around here much… school keeps us all busy, I supose.

  19. September 18, 2008 3:40 pm

    i havnt seen him since his argument with brian.

  20. September 18, 2008 4:17 pm

    LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. September 18, 2008 5:27 pm

    i dnt like skool. i have like 11 different teachers, and some are really mean. i was like 5 seconds late for class and my math teacher yelled at me!!!!!!!!!!

    my social studies teacher is a “bully” and my health teacher cant spell for his life!
    one time, my english teacher put up a sign that said “who am i” cuz we had just done a project called who am i, so my social studies teacher writes underneath it “who cares?” lol my teachers are weird

    this random comment brought to you by wurburt, you can always count on me to be randomly stupid 😀

  22. September 19, 2008 2:37 am

    That post must be about 5000 words, lol.

  23. September 19, 2008 8:19 am

    😀 Almost 3000, I think. Longest post I’ve ever made. 😀

  24. September 19, 2008 1:59 pm

    LOL. I even read it all, though Stell already told me all about it. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, guys!!

  25. September 19, 2008 4:52 pm

    No prob Narnia~! 😉

  26. September 20, 2008 10:23 am

    Guess what?? I FINALLY showed that birthday card to Narnia! I remembered it every time I checked my email, but Narnia wasn’t ever available.

  27. September 20, 2008 6:19 pm

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!! I sure hope she liked it!

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