Allison Pope is a 7th grader at Patton Middle School. She submitted the following entry to the Museum’s ISS Downlink contest in order to win a seat at the question and answer session with astronauts on Jan. 19.
The International Space Station is a major and complicated advance in human technology. Some of the largest challenges astronauts face on the International Space Station, I believe, are everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and bathing. In micro-gravity things can get challenging. Well, NASA has thought of some ways to accomplish these activities without much effort from the astronauts.
One example is sleeping. On the International Space Station (ISS), the astronauts sleep in a wall-mounted sleeping beg that you van slip into and zip up. The bag is also equipped with arm restraints to prevent the astronaut’s arms from floating above their heads while they sleep. In microgravity there is no “up” and astronauts can sleep as comfortably vertically as horizontally.
Next, we encounter the problems of bathing and using the restroom. To keep the astronauts fresh and happy, they take sponge baths. Water droplets gloat around in weightlessness, creating a hazard for electrical equipment. To prevent this frome happening, water is obtained from a nozzle and, after washing; dirty water from the sponge is squeezed into an airflow system which conveys it to the ISS’s waste collection tank. When going to the restroom, this is how it works: The ISS astronauts use a toilet that operates very much like the one on Earth. A steady flow of air moves through the unit when it is in use, carrying the waste to a special container or into plastic bags. The container can be opened to a vacuum, which dries the water and solids.
Lastly, we have the issue of eating. This seems simple to you and me but can get tricky for people aboard the ISS. During a typical meal in space, a tray is used to hold the food containers. The tray can be attached to an astronaut’s lap by a strap or attached to a wall. The meal tray becomes the astronaut’s dinner plate and enables them to choose from several foods at once, just like a meal at home. The tray also holds the food packages in place and keeps them from floating away in the microgravity of space.
Many people wonder why the ISS isn’t built on earth. One of the biggest reasons is because the ISS is enormous and heavy and can only be built in the micro-gravity of space. Once completed, the dimensions of the International Space Station will be approximately 108.5 meters by 72.8 meters. The completed ISS will weigh around 450 tons. The shuttles that carry up the parts to the ISS can only hold around 32.5 tons for circular orbits up to 230 miles. The higher the orbit the less a shuttle can carry.
In conclusion, the ISS is a complicated and amazing advance in human technology. We have reached a point in our evolution where we have people living in space. By fulfilling their basic necessities such as sleeping, eating and bathing, we are able to study space in a new way.
By Kasey Richter, Director of PR and Marketing
While aboard the International Space Station, astronaut crews participate in live, in-flight education downlinks. Downlinks are approximately 20 minutes in length and provide students and educators the opportunity to interact with crew members aboard the ISS through a question and answer session.
This past spring, the Museum and the McMinnville School District technology department submitted a proposal to NASA to host an ISS downlink. It was approved in September and confirmed for Jan. 19. The exact time of the downlink will not be confirmed until closer to the event.
Due to limited seating in the Evergreen IMAX 3D Theater, the Museum and MSD hosted a district-wide essay and art contest for K-12 youth to win a chance to attend the ISS downlink in the IMAX Theater, which resulted in approximately 50 winners.
A random selection of these winning entries will be uploaded to this blog leading up to the downlink.
The ISS downlink will also be broadcast on the NASA website and on Channel 11, McMinnville’s community television station. Classrooms and community members can experience the downlink along with the astronauts and students in the IMAX.
The Museum is excited to share this wonderful experience with the McMinnville community and we hope that you enjoy these winning entries as much as we did!
By Kasey Richter, Director of PR and Marketing
Today is a special day for the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. It was on this day, 63 years ago, that our beloved Spruce Goose flew nearly a mile at an elevation of 70 feet in the Long Beach Harbor.
It was a moment that Howard Hughes had dreamed about; a moment where he proved all of his skeptics and critics wrong.
Our Museum can relate to that moment. It was nearly ten years ago that the Evergreen Aviation Museum opened its doors to the general public, showcasing a collection that encompassed less than 50 aircraft.
Now the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum can boast nearly 200 aircraft, spacecraft and exhibits; has expanded to three buildings, including a Space Museum; operates the largest IMAX 3D theater in the Northwest; and is in the process of constructing the new Wings & Waves Water Park, a non-profit educational water park that includes an interactive science museum, four water slides, numerous play structures, and a wave pool.
Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to witness the progress of our amazing facility, and happy anniversary to our lovable Spruce Goose!
For your enjoyment, I’ve included one of our favorite graphics of our Spruce Goose.
***Diagram by Clem Tillier.
And a video of the Spruce Goose flying…
By Amy Quick, Director of Membership
This Saturday is our last Star Party of the season, and it’s usually one of our most popular ones! This particular partywill focus on its namesake – Stars. Written below are some tidbits of what you’ll hear about on Saturday at the Museum:
Most stars are between 1 billion and 10 billion years old. Some stars may even be close to 13.7 billion years old—the observed age of the universe. The oldest star discovered, HE 1523-0901, is an estimated 13.2 billion years old. A star is a massive, luminous ball of plasma that is held together by gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy and light on Earth. Other stars are visible in the night sky, when they are not outshone by the Sun. A star produces a tremendous amount of light and other forms of energy. The stars look like twinkling points of light – except for the sun.
Here is the schedule for the Sept. 18th Star Party:
Presentation – Stars 5:30 p.m. Evergreen Space Museum Presented By: Tony Leavitt
For Kids – Constellation In A Can 6:00 p.m. Evergreen Space Museum
Star Lab – Night Sky Orientation 6:30 p.m. Evergreen Space Museum
Hubble 3D showing – 7:30 p.m. Evergreen IMAX Theater
Vividly captured, Hubble 3D recounts the amazing journey of the most important scientific instrument since Galileo’s original telescope and the greatest success in space since the Moon Landing — the Hubble Space Telescope. Audiences will accompany the space walking astronauts as they attempt some of the most difficult tasks ever undertaken in NASA’s history, and will experience up close the awesome power of the launches, the heartbreaking setbacks, and the dramatic rescues of this most powerful story.
Star Gazing will occur in the parking lot behind the Space Museum when night falls – feel free to bring your lawn chairs, telescopes, or binoculars. Local astronomy groups will be on hand with their telescopes to help you find the wonders of the night sky.