This week was fabulous! I have a new baby cousin, Kobi Matthew Isch. The weather is finally sunny and warm. I had another fun softball practice with my friends. And – this was soooo awesome — I got to go to the Challenger Learning Center in Indianapolis for a Space Shuttle mission simulation!
We had a 2-hour bus ride that was really boring, but then we got to stop at an awesome park that was really big for lunch. Finally it was time for the mission.
We were briefed about what our job was, and then we were sent to either the spacecraft or mission control. I was on the probe team in mission control. My job was to give instructions to other team members on the spacecraft who were constructing the probe we planned to launch into a comet. I got to wear a headset to communicate and I could watch them on a monitor to make sure they were doing it right.
When the probe was halfway done, it was time to switch. My team went into the spacecraft through an airlock thingie that was really cool and dark and spun around. My teammate and I went to the “clean room” where the probe was being constructed. I put another headset on and my teammate and I listened to instructions from mission control.
When we finished the probe, the mission commander came to the door and told us to close the airlock that the probe was in. We reset the probe so that it was ready for takeoff, then we went into the main part of the spacecraft to watch the countdown to the launch.
We had planned to launch the probe at Comet Encke, but during our mission the navigation team discovered a much more rare comet. They named this comet Ty Cobb, and we decided to aim for that instead.
The probe was launched successfully and our mission was a success. It was so cool. It was like it really was a mission. There was even an emergency that was sort of like a “red alert” on “Star Trek.” A red light flashed and sirens came on. One of my probe team members was freaking out, yelling “We’re gonna die!” But I told him to stay calm and do his job. This was definitely the most awesome field trip ever!