It's hard to believe that today is our last full day and also that we have been here for a full week. Through the various activities time has flown, yet we all feel as if we have known our friends for longer than a mere week.
Today was the mars rover challenge. One half of our group designed a rover that could function on mars and pick up rock samples. The half of the team I was personally involved with was doing the mars lander challenge. We had to use our engineering knowledge and create a way to drop a raw egg 6m off a balcony and it not smash to smitherines. Sound simple enough? Not really. After many prototypes gone wrong we learned that trial and error is a big part of getting the perfect product in engineering, and that creating a product that actually works is very rewarding.
Following this, we had an interesting Skype call with Chuck Llyod discussing the effects of space travel on an astronaut's body and the adaptions when returning to earth, yet another complication many didn't consider before this week.
Tonight is the Gala dinner, a social event that all of us look forward to and a great way to spend the little downtime we have had this week.
Tomorrow is the final day and the point when all of our hard work will come together and we will have to leave our bubbles and return to reality.
Lorna Beattie - Team Europa
Hannah Cooper here, reporting the (almost) final day of our week. At the moment, we are sitting in the computer lab with some free time, before a live lecture from Chuck Lloyd from Houston. Today has been a heart-pounding space ride – our challenges today were centered on Mars, beginning with our Mars lander challenge. The aim was to build a ship for our cargo (a raw egg) to land safely from a drop of 6 meters, and to be returned without a crack. Our genius suspension system allowed an incredibly soft landing, and the ‘egg release mechanism’ we devised was a masterstroke of engineering. O.K, so that’s an egg-sageration, but it worked pretty well.
Following that we made our way into a soundproofed waiting room and sat for a few minutes while the ‘airlock’ whirred and buzzed. Some of the lights on it turned green and it swung open, we were ushered into a darkened control room, with a Martian surface simulated in a raised platform looming to our left. We performed some exercises fantastically, but some activities proved challenging (and that’s an under-egg-stimation) .
That’s all for now, the ceilidh is not far off, and we are sad to know that tomorrow will be our final day, but we’ve had a wonderful time. So no complaining from us.
Today we worked on 2 Mars rover projects. The first was a task in which half of the team worked together to collect points on a mars-like board using a mini rover aswell as points in the air. The team had great fun and throughout all of the task, despite the stress and pressure, team commander Francesca managed to keep a cool head and a very low heart beat. The team performed fantastically, despite some technical hitches and posted a very good score at the end.
The afternoon activity was a challenge in which the other half of the team had to safely land an egg in a target from about 4-5metres up. Originally they were tasked with making it fall for 7 seconds however it soon became apparent that that wasn't going to happen. Zoe, Lewis and Robbie created a transporter that, not only made the landing soft enough to not damage the egg, but also made it easy to reach when it needed to be raced across the room to verify it was still intact.
Throughout the day, those that weren't involved in the activities worked on the projects, or atleast tried to between fits of laughter. The presentations for these are tomorrow so there's a bit of nerves about them. Obviously team PHOBOS will win purely because we will but we hope we're going to win the challenges aswell as the projects.
After the challenges we were treated to a live video link to NASA's Houston base. Chuck Lloyd was kind enough to give up his time to chat with the Space School students and it really gave us an insight into how NASA is run.Hopefully some of the members from PHOBOS will be lucky enough to go to Houston for real at the end of the summer.
We just finished up with a gala dinner and a ceilidh with some great music from, among others, team PHOBOS's Robbie. With only half a day left to go, all we can think is:
Where has the time gone?
Today is our last full day of Space School and it has been no less interesting than any other day!
Our tasks for today were the Mars Lander and Mars Rover challenges each of which were carried out by 5 members of the team.
In the first session the team designed a lander which protected an egg as it plummeted to a target on the ground - the design was successful. Meanwhile, the remainder of the team worked on our projects. In the afternoon the members who were working on the project moved to be trained in how to use drones, rovers, blimps and the robot arm while the others worked on completing both the big and wee projects and the presentations which go along with each of these. The rover team had to carry out various calculations to determine where the "minerals" were buried on "Mars". During the challenge we worked together to complete the set tasks successfully. The main entertainment was provided by the pilot of the drone, Tom, who managed to drive the drone into himself.
We are now looking forward to the live chat with Chuck Lloyd before out Gala Dinner and Ceilidh this evening. It looks to be a great way to end our last day!
As the week begins to come to a close, we began our last full day of Space School. The day began with a mars rover challenge where each member of the team was assigned a role to play in the different aspects of the challenge. We all had lots of fun preparing for the final challenge where we had to navigate a mars rover to find elements across the board to gain points for team Larissa. The challenge also included controlling a blimp, an arm and an AR drone which proved most challenging of all but we hope to have collected lots of points for the team. Our mission commander, Rhory also had to keep his heart rate down low throughout the challenge in order to simulate the calm mindset that a mission commander has to have when flying the space ship. The challenge was brilliant fun.Check out the one of the photos from the Mars Rover Challange
After lunch we took part in the Mars lander challenge where we had to design a capsule to contain a raw egg which can be dropped from a height and stay in flight for at least 7 seconds. Soon we will witness the results of our hard work when the Mars landers will be tested- Fingers crossed!
We are also looking forward to the Gala dinner tonight where we will get the chance to speak to one of our guests over dinner and ask any questions that we would like to ask them. The night will then proceed to a ceilidh where big Mark can show off his amazing dance moves. We are all sad to be leaving tomorrow but both excited and anxious for the presentation of our BIG PROJECT and WEE PROJECT to the panel of judges. Everything crossed for this one!
We will try and say how it goes tomorrow, but otherwise farewell from team Larissa 2012 ( the best Space School team in the universe).
Reached halfway point and already dreading the end. The day started off with a pile of hard work as we had to complete the majority of the presentation for our big projects, which involved using the design program CAD. Finishing the poster allowed a great sense of achievement and relief as the end project looked surprisingly professional, none of which could be attained without the help of our expert CAD designers. Following the morning’s activities we feasted on a well-deserved lunch. The next couple of hours involved us visiting the microbiology labs, where we were reviewing the previous samples taken on Monday. Some very interesting results were found, mostly everyone’s were normal except a few abnormal discoveries (STD on ear?). Then came a very interesting lecture from the Dean of Science in which many thought provoking questions were conveyed to the audience – such as how the vast majority of microbes are yet to be discovered. Dinner arrived not a moment too soon, but with dinner also came the nerves of the open mic night. Luckily the long awaited NASA presentations took many of our minds off of the ever approaching performances, and we were engrossed in the awe inspiring speeches of Mike Baker, Ron Garan and Heather Paul- three important figures from NASA. We were then lucky enough to talk with them and even get a picture and signature, but then the open mic night suddenly arrived!! With the nerve racking performances over, we were then able to enjoy the rest of the night’s entertainment, including strange animal noises which were worryingly accurate! It was a great way to end the night as many laughs were shared.
Chantelle and Andrew :)
Today is the last full day at Space School! We are all upset to part from each other as it's been a great team experience!
This morning our group of ten were split in half to work together for our 'Mars' challenges. The group of Fraser, Ciar, Laura, Jenn and Jenni built their very own version of the 'Mars lander' using top-of-the-range cotton wool, plastic bags and paper cups! We succeeded to land the parachute on the target gaining 15 points for Team Titan!
After our last lunch together, Kirsty, Joe, Ashwin, Sam and Colin set off to be trained as Mission commanders and Drone and Blimp pilots and drive their space vehicle on Mars!
We're all looking forward to the dinner and Scottish ceilidh tonight! Tartan and jigging all night!
Today our team was split into two groups of 5, where one half of us participated in the 'Mars Lander' challenge. where we had to use 'junk' to build a stucture which would safely transport precious cargo (an egg) to the ground from the balcony.. ours was awesome.
The other half of our team took part in 'The Mars Rover' challenge, where they had to operate and guide various pieces of technology (eg mechanical arms and a rover)
Tonight is the gala dinner and ceilidh and we are supercalafragilisticexpealidociously buzzin'.
LAST DAY MAN :'(
Louise McGrath, Callum Little & Keri Slater
The focus of today's activities has mostly been challenges, with a central theme of Mars. After the daily briefing, we set off to the labs to prepare for a Mars Rover challenge. This involved half the team, a small group of 6, piloting various robotic vehicles in order to locate and retrieve small payloads of minerals.
Firstly, Andrew had to drive a small rover over the various points where minerals had been spotted, navigated by Robbie. Once found, Kerry flew over the minerals in a blimp over the arena, where they were collected by a small robotic arm operated by Peter. The small payloads were then dropped into a container mounted on a robot operated by our Commander for the mission, Chris. However, for the duration of the mission Chris was hooked up to a machine that kept a track of his pulse rate, with the aim being that Chris had to keep calm for the challenge as is required of real Commanders.
In the afternoon, the Mars theme continued with the latter half of the group challenged to protect an egg as it was thrown from a balcony in the James Weir assembly hall - a height of about 6 metres! Although the team is still building their contraption as I type, we anticipate that they will do egg-selently!
To round of the week before our departure tomorrow lunchtime, tonight we are being treated to a Gala Dinner, followed by a ceilidh in the assembly hall attended by the astronauts we have met and conversed with on previous nights. Shame some of us forgot the bow-ties...
So this is our last full day at the Scottish Space School and it may be our last blog of the week. :(
This morning we had the amazing experience of using (or playing with) micro-robots, like the ardrone for ipad and a mechanical arm along with a mini blimp! our team then had to use maths (that was a challenge after doing none since May) to find the areas of the grid where there were points to collect. out of 30.. we managed 12... but that is said to be a great score.!
Emma and Alison took charge of the blimp and mechanical arm which was the hardest challenge, then Issy had the pressure of flying the ardrone.. which honestly has a mind of its own! control of that machine was next to impossible... but she managed it in the end...
David was in charge of the mars rover while Chris had to keep a steady heart beat and try not to panic! (he was picked as earier it was discovered that he had to pulse at all.... )
Ross was the mathematical genius behind this task... as always... and managed to lead us to obvious victory!!
The Scene of the Mars challenge!
This afternoon, the other half of the team have to design and build a 'mars lander' which will protect a raw egg from a height of 6 metres onto a target. we are sure they will not let us down! good luck guys... :D
Tonight we have a ceilidh seeing as it is our last night at Strathclyde which i'm sure will be amazing and a great oppertunity to say bye to people although we will be sad to leave. it has been an unforgettable experience and i'm sure that our whole group will stay in contact with each other as we have grown so close.
Just a final thanks to all the mentors and the staff who worked with us throughout the week, and Gordon and Marianne can finally have their lives back and thank you for putting up with all of us for this long! :D
- 10 ||