Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Space-Geek-Game (SGG)

So this week I started a little game called "Space-Geek-Game". I came across some really fun, educational and interesting images and I wanted to share them. But rather just post them, I asked people to either give me their views on the picture or a funny caption.

Here is how it works. Each image I choose has a NASA and Space Flight connection and is part of our history. Some are on the fun side, some are on the more serious side. Each picture and question has a certain difficulty degree. Here is the ranking of degree of difficulty:

Cadet - This is a very easy category. Anybody off the street could answer this question.

Provisional Officer - This one is a little bit more difficult and requires some additional knowledge. But still, a Space Geek and future Starfleet Officer needs to know this.

Ensign - This is your baseline question. If you want to call yourself Space Geek, you must know the answers.

Lieutenant - A question with some added insight knowledge.

Commander - Now we are getting to the more difficult questions. This ranking means you need to have a fairly strong understanding of NASA, Human Space Flight and History.

Captain - As the Captain you need to know your stuff! From NASA, to Space Exploration, to Aerospace and History.

Admiral - Only the top notch can know just about everything. And you will have to know just about everything to answer the questions in this ranking.

To my surprise almost all of the images got answered within an hour. There was only one that was more difficult. I might continue this little game. But before I continue, here are the few I have posted so far. Look for more updates on my Twitter or Facebook site! I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoy them!

Discovery STS-33 crew walks out of the Operations and Checkout building during a practice countdown. The day was Halloween so they all wore costume hats for a joke.

The sombrero-topped hombres picture here are the Apollo 11 astronauts being swarmed by thousands at a 1969 parade in Mexico City during the world tour that followed their trip to the moon. The tour was meant to show the United States' willingness to share its space knowledge, and its space heroes. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins visited 27 cities in 24 countries in 45 days.

No, it's not Lawrence of Arabia's troop of bodyguards. The seven original Mercury astronauts used parachute pieces to make hats and clothes during a 1960 training exercise in the Nevada desert. The idea was to prepare the men to survive in the event of an emergency landing in the wilderness. Pictured here, from left to right, at Stead Air Force Base: Gordon Cooper, Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Virgil Grissom, Walter Schirra and Donald Slayton.

Neta Snook Southern, age 84, emerges from the Flight Simulator for Advanced Aircraft at Ames Research Center. Southern, one of the first women pilots, was Amelia Earharts flight instructor around the year 1920. In marked contrast with what she saw at Ames, Southern said her old plane was made of wood and cloth, had no gas gauge, and the instrument panel consisted of an altimeter and a dollar watch hanging from a hook.

Noguchi was able to capture the plasma trail produced by space shuttle Endeavour as it streaked through Earth’s atmosphere. “Space Shuttle Endeavour making S-turn during atmospheric re-entry,

I call this picture "Social Media 1950s Style". What Dr. Von Braun and Mr. Disney were doing was exactly that! They wanted to use the medium of television to illustrate how high man might fly on the strength of technology and the spirit of human imagination. 

Dr. Werhner von Braun, then Chief, Guided Missile Development Operation Division at Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, was visited by Walt Disney in 1954. In the 1950's, von Braun worked with Disney Studio as a technical director, making three films about space exploration for television

Von Braun served as technical advisor on three space-related television films that Disney produced in the 1950s. According to David R. Smith, Director of Archives at Walt Disney Productions, von Braun caught the attention of Disney senior producer Ward Kimball. 

The Collier's series had appeared about the time that Disney decided to use television to promote Disneyland in California. The theme park would include four major sections: Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland. Disney producers would incorporate ideas from Disney fantasy films like Snow White, Pinocchio, and others to promote the first area of the park. The second and third areas would be built around Davy Crockett and other adventure films. Tomorrowland, however, represented a real challenge. In response, Kimball contacted von Braun who, according to Smith, "pounced on the opportunity." As a technical consultant for Disney, von Braun would join Heinz Haber, a specialist in the emerging field of space. medicine, and Willy Ley, a famous rocket historian. All three space experts had authored the Collier's series. 

Disney personally introduced the first television show, "Man in Space," which aired on ABC on March 9, 1955. The objective, he said, was to combine "the tools of our trade with the knowledge of the scientists to give a factual picture of the latest plans for man's newest adventure." He later called the show "science factual." The show represented something new in its approach to science. But it also relied on Disney's trademark animation techniques. 
For more information: Visit Marshall Space Flight Center here.  

Yes, it is Dr. Robert H. Goddard. He moved to Roswell New Mexico and in 1914, Goddard received two U.S. patents. One was for a rocket using liquid fuel. The other was for a two or three stage rocket using solid fuel.

In 1926, Goddard constructed and successfully tested the first rocket using liquid fuel. The flight of Goddard’s rocket on March 16, 1926, at Auburn, Massachusetts, was as significant to history as that of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.

Goddard's rocket after flight in New Mexico on April 19, 1932. Those carrying the rocket are (left to right): Nils Ljungquist, machinist; most likely Charles Mansur, welder; Goddard's brother-in-law and machinist Albert Kisk; and Goddard. The rocket had new guiding vanes controlled by a gyroscope which helped stabilization. In 1930, with a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, Goddard and his crew moved from Massachusetts to Roswell, New Mexico, to conduct research and perform test flights away from the public eye. This rocket was one of many that he launched in Roswell from 1930-1932 and from 1934-1941. Dr. Goddard has been recognized as the father of American rocketry and as one of the pioneers in the theoretical exploration of space. His dream was the conquest of the upper atmosphere and ultimately space through the use of rocket propulsion. When the United States began to prepare for the conquest of space in the 1950's, American rocket scientists began to recognize the debt owed to the New England professor. They discovered that it was virtually impossible to construct a rocket or launch a satellite without acknowledging the work of Dr. Goddard.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. A physicist of great insight, Goddard also had a unique genius for invention. It is in memory of the brilliant scientist that NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland was established on May 1, 1959.
Unlike many other early space station concepts, this design actually made it out of the concept phase and into production, though no models were ever flown. This particular station was 30-feet and expandable. It was designed to be taken to outer space in a small package and then inflate in orbit. The station could, in theory, have been big enough for 1 to 2 people to use for a long period of time. A similar 24 foot station was built by the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation for NASA test use. The concept of space inflatables was revived in the 1990s.

Today's question was about the unsung heroes from 1948 - 1950. The "Albert Series", which launched Albert I, II, III and IV. Unfortunately, none of the monkeys survived.
Pictured here is Miss Monkey Baker. On May 28, 1958 Miss Baker launched in a nose cone on top of the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile and returned unharmed. Miss Baker was given a home at the US Space and Rocket Center until her death on November 29, 1984.
For more information on the History of Animals in Space go here
Let's do one more round of our Space-Geek-Game. This is again one going back in time. It has several questions I would like you to answer. I rank this one "Captain" difficulty level.

1) we see two space flight veterans in the Soyuz Spacecraft Simulator working on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Who are they?

2) One of these two individuals set a very special record and was citied for it in the Guinness World Record book. What for?

3) The other individual in this image married who?

4) Together they had a child and why was that child such an interesting study subject to the medical community?

1) We are seeing Brig. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford on the left and Maj. Gen. Andriyan G. Nikolayev on the right. Stafford was visiting Star City and practiced several terminal phase rendezvous in the Soyuz simulator and docked with the Salyut space station. Stafford had previously flown on Gemini 6, 9 and then Apollo 10. While Nikolayev flew on Vostok 3 and Soyuz 9.

2) Thomas Stafford was cited in the Guinness Book of World Records for highest speed ever attained by man, that occurred during Apollo 10 reentry when the spacecraft attained 24,791 statute miles per hour.

3) Andriyan Nikolayev married Valentina Tereshkova in November of 1963. Just 5 months earlier Valentina launched aboard Vostok 6 to become the first woman to fly in Space. During her almost 71 hour flight she orbited Earth 48 times.

4) Valentina and Andriyan's daughter, Elena, was subject of medical interest because she was the first child born to parents who had both been exposed to Space. Elena later went on to become a medical doctor hersel