A Trip To Remember : Day 4.

27th October, 2011.

We woke up at about 7 AM. Today, the itinerary looked really interesting. Quick breakfast at the hotel of various cereals, cinnamon rolls, chocolate milk, juices and some more items. Then we left the hotel pronto to go to the Challenger Learning Center to complete a mock mission.

We reached at about 9. There was an allotment of groups into various sections and then we got in. We went inside and our mission was given to us. There were two large groups and several sub groups. One of the groups had to be in  the spacecraft and maneuver it so that is successfully lands on the moon, and the other was Mission Control, it managed the movements and communication with the spacecraft from Earth. This turned out to be the best thing that we did so far. It was so amazing! We were busing controlling one thing or another throughout! Not one moment were we left idle. I was in Communication and was on the spacecraft going to the Moon. There was a set of instructions and a manual on how to work on the communication devices. Then the work began. Each team had their own group of instructions and they had to perform them, using the help of Mission Control via Communication, i.e , me. None of us were left doing nothing for even a minute. There was a continuous flow of work so that made it even more challenging and fun.

From there we went to the Museum of Natural Science. We were waiting outside for a while clicking a few pictures. When we went in, we were led a small area where and elderly man, who seemed full of knowledge took us through a room of mummies, giving us loads of information. We also learnt that the Egyptians sometimes mummified foods like pork chops so that the Pharaoh can take it with them into their afterlife. It was really interesting butwe couldn’t take pictures of the mummy on display because it will slowly change it’s skin color and because it isn’t particularly nice to click pics of a dead guy. We learnt how to recognize  the different types of mummies. It was really fun. Then we went inside the main museum. It was amazing! There was the skeleton of a huge dinosaur on display. There were huge structures of animals in their habitats. It was fascinating to watch.

Then when it was time to go, we went for a ride, known as the GyroXtreme. It was at the entrance. Amazing is all that I can say. Seating two, it goes round and round and up and down and left and right. It flips you over many times, making you stomach flop. It was an amazing experience as it is the first ride that we have gone on in the US. Looking at our itinerary, it seems like there are many more to come. We then had a quick lunch and made our way to the Space Center in the bus. Once we reached, we were briefed and then we were allotted groups where and we had to build a Mars Lander which, could successfully land on ‘Mars’, without damaging the Rover that it was carrying. In our case, we had to build something out of cloth, tape, cups, balloons, etc. to build a structure that could keep an egg enclosed within it without cracking it after it has been thrown down from three storeys. It was really fun building the lander. We had to buy materials and build our Lander. Not that a big deal right, but it is if you have a budget and even a rubber band costs a bomb.

The landing turned out to be quite successful and our group did pretty well. Then we were taken inside the building and we had the same groups but a different mission. We had to build a Rover. A Mars Rover, that was remote controlled and could go on the ‘Mars’ surface and collect a rock and bring it back to Earth. We had to build it using something that looked like Lego pieces and quite a few motors. In the end, there were mixed results. Around two teams did really well and the others were not able to reach that level. Unfortunately, our team was amongst one of the few teams that were not up to standard. It was a lesson to learn.

It was quite a tiring day. After leaving the Space Center, we went had dinner and quickly drove back to the hotel and almost literally drove into our beds and then we dozed off.

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