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Monday, March 30, 2015

SMAP is Spinning!

Hello everyone!

I haven't been posting much lately as I've been editing videos of both NASA events.  Yet there is still much more from the SLS firing I will share with you over the coming weeks.

Also, over the past few days there has been a great deal of news regarding the SMAP satellite. It is now fully working and collecting data! There are a few things on that which I would like to share with you.

Below is a link to NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory that has information on what the SMAP is doing as of last week and when it will become fully operational:


Below is an image which labels that perts of the SMAP satellite, which may be handy when you read various articles on it.
Here is one more article from JPL at NASA , written five days ago. It is about SMAP beginning to spin!

SMAP Soil Mapper Goes for a Spin - link

Now some of you may be reading this, and find it too "technical," and not really understand what is going on with SMAP.  Yet did you know that NASA wants to make their information more available and understandable to the average person? One way they do this is by blogging their missions.

Erika Podest is a scientist at JPL who is working on the SMAP mission.  She already has 7 posts about this mission that would be beneficial for you to read. Her recent post is  about what is currently developing for SMAP, and it should make the above information much more understandable .  It also includes some "big picture" information, such as, what will happen with the satellite when it's mission is complete? Read here to find out:

SMAP blog

Monday, March 9, 2015

Staff: Let's Journey to Mars Together!

Hello  Morris Tech community!

This Thursday, NASA will be test firing the SLS rocket booster. This will be the largest, most powerful rocket booster to ever fire! It is the rocket booster that will someday send humans to land on asteroids and Mars.

Here is a short (two-minute) video on the SLS QM-1 :
Link to NASA Video

Some basics that the math/science  teachers might be interested in knowing:

* At liftoff, SLS will have 9.2 million pounds of thrust.
- Saturn V had 7.6 million pounds (Used btwn 1966 and 1973, it was what sent people to the moon.)
- The space shuttles Shuttle had 7.3 million pounds.
- SLS = 34x thrust of a 747 jet.

Ideas for humanities teachers:
 Things that the other "NASA school" near Syracuse, NY are discussing:
   - Pros/Cons of going to Mars ( we have the opportunity to Skype w/ a Mars I finalist this spring)
   - The international cooperation with this mission/ Comparing to the Age Imperialism/ Countries are
   already speaking of "mining" for resources on Mars
  - The economics of exploration: NASA/Space X

Here is an article on some of the SLS basics:
SLS article link

This is the NASA site that has information on the SLS:

Ways to participate in a school-wide Journey to Mars:

- I will be live tweeting throughout the tours, NASA TV interview, test-firings, etc. Feel free to follow me (or have your students follow ) @bohndrake
- At 3-4:30 our time on Tuesday I will be at the NASA interview where scientists and engineers involved with the rocket booster will be answering questions. You can watch live on NASA TV. You can send questions about this mission to @AskNasa .  If you tweet them directly to me, I will get the opportunity to ask them as well.
- at 11:30 our time the test-firing will be live on NASA TV (coverage will probably start around 11.) I will try to Skype with the school, but if it doesn't work you can watch on-line and I will be tweeting and answering questions as well.

- I will also be trying to upload more blogs and videos onto my YouTube channel while I am there. If there is something specific you would like me to focus on for your classes, PLEASE let me

- Other hashtags to follow about this on Twitter: #SLSfiredUp  #JourneyToMars #QM1
- Others to follow: @NASA_SLS @OrbitalATK

Once again, please let me know if you have any questions or ideas on this, I look forward to journeying to Mars with all of you!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Museum at Vandenberg Air Force Base

One of the highlights of attending the recent NASA event was the tour of the museum there.

How amazing is was to see a real Thor missile close up!
Below  is a link to a video of some of the highlights.

Museum Video