The EDC (Exploration Design Challenge) was an adventure in learning about space travel and the obstacles we must overcome for future human space exploration. I feel honored to be a part of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle ETF-1 (Exploration Test Flight – 1) virtual crew!
The dangers of Space Weather which is made up of Sunspots, Solar Flares, CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections), and GCR’s (Galactic Cosmic Radiation) makes me really glad we have the Earth’s Atmosphere and Magnetosphere to protect us here on Earth. I was surprised that the GCR’s or Cosmic Rays are such a huge threat, because they are radiation that comes from outside our solar system. I had thought that the Sun was our biggest problem with radiation that was impacting on our ability to have human exploration of the Moon, Asteroids, Mars, and Beyond. I also found it interesting that an Astronaut’s acceptable level of radiation is defined as ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable), but even with that said we still do not have the technology for man to travel safely into deep space.
I am excited to be a part of this generation who is tasked with finding solutions to the current problems we have with deep space and long term human space travel. Using the design process which is similar to the scientific method, we can continue to learn, so we will be able to utilize the least mass/best protection materials and work towards new technology to travel faster, farther, longer, and safer. It is fun to work together as a team to achieve bigger and better things!
I had the unique opportunity not only to watch the wonderful performance of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live on Stage, but I also got to meet and talk with the cast. It is an extraordinary prehistoric journey with an incredible cast! Seeing so many kids, parents, and teachers getting hands-on access to the Dinosaurs was really fun to watch. I hope everyone will have the chance to go and see it. There are still seats available for this weekend at the Straz Center in Tampa. If you are thinking about going please use the promo code PARTY and save 20% on select tickets Feb 28 – March 2, 2014.