Kevin, Mikro and I were lucky to attend the Intrepid Space Week Educator Day, which was just amazing. We arrived at 8 am to a breakfast of bagels, muffins, fruit and coffee spread out literally under the Space Shuttle Enterprise. At 8 am, I needed the coffee!
Next, Leland Melvin spoke and welcomed everyone, and led the people registered for the morning session downstairs to a fantastic presentation on the future of space exploration. First, Leland talked about the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, and the allure of the Intrepid's Enterprise display to motivate kids fro disparate backgrounds to pursue science and technology and dream of space. Then we had three NASA speakers who talked to us about the continuing mission of the International Space Station and about the various commercial orbital transportation systems in development for low Earth orbit applications, such supporting the ISS with crew and cargo transportation, including the Dragon and Cygnus systems, as well as about the Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule, which being developed for future missions to Mars and the Asteroid Belt. Participants were given a beautiful book on the ISS.
Then we headed to panels of our choosing. We attended the Design an Alien and Magnificent Universe panels. Mikro was amazing and asked good questions (and volunteered answers) in a room full of adult educators, with absolutely no self-consciousness. My space geek kid rocks!
After the panels, we went and explored the many booths and tables NASA had set up, learning about such disparate things as the Hubble Space Telescope, the life cycle of stars, Mars Rover Curiosity, laser pulse data communications, robotic refueling and repair of malfunctioning or defunct satellites, the hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator system, and too many other topics to list.