During the Semester 1 holidays, 14 Years 8 and 9 students from Salesian College went on an exciting expedition to the USA, to CASE Space School. Over there, we first went to Huntsville Alabama where we saw many rockets and planes used by NASA that were then donated to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center – USSRC, for showcasing. Apart from just looking at things, we also attended Space Camp. At Space Camp, we were able to experience many fun activities like being able to pilot space craft or learn how to maintain and fix the International Space Station – ISS. This was done in two Mission Simulations, one to the ISS and one to the Moon. Nearing the end of the first week in Huntsville, we were able to experience how it felt to free fall to Earth if the engines weren’t working. We also felt both, the moon’s gravity, and up to 4 times the gravity of Earth. We also designed and made our own rockets that we got to launch.
During the second week of travel, we headed over to Houston Texas which was very different from where we stayed in Huntsville. There were many more museums like The Museum of Natural Science and The Museum of Health. In the Museum of Natural Science, we learnt about renewable energies and how we needed to turn to them fast in order to save our Earth. We also made our own generators that would be hydro-powered. In the Museum of Health, we saw a model heart that had actual heartbeat. You could actually see it beating and it speeding up or slowing down. We also dissected a shark there. Despite it stinking up the entire room, it was really fun and enjoyable as we saw the different parts of a shark with our very own eyes.
Finally, there was the Johnston Space Centre – NASA. The exhibit was so huge that we had to go there twice to explore the full thing. We saw the Boeing 747 which transported the Shuttles and carried them to the very top of the atmosphere where it was then launched for training purposes. We also saw the second of the only three Saturn V Rockets left in the world. These were the Rockets that serviced all the Apollo Missions. We took a tram ride to a mock-up facility where they did astronaut training and tested new equipment for space. After a tiring two weeks, we finally reached graduation. We all received a certificate for our participation in the activities. A few of us even got an extra certificate for our leadership and motivation. Altogether, it has been a fun and enjoyable 2 weeks. We learnt many new things and met many other students from Australia and the USA. Many thanks to Ms Ellul and Ms Marsh for looking after us.
Jann Kakkanadan, 8B