WANTED: Parent-Child Amateur Astronaut Teams
BUILD YOUR OWN ROCKET AND WATCH IT SOAR!
Written By Dan Cascaddan
Ever wanted to fly in space? Let our instructor Dan Cascaddan help you take flight!
Does your child or grandchild have a similar urge, or perhaps you would like to instill that urge in them? It is time to join the several decades old art and science of model rocketry.
You can learn to build and fly your own model rocket in my adult-child team rocketry class, over summer. It is a great way to do something both incredibly entertaining and intellectually engaging while bonding with the child in your life.
Learn about Spaceflight - Do you remember watching the astronauts launch into orbit, on television, and hearing all the strange and exotic terminology coming out of the Mission Control Center, in Houston, Texas? Learn some of the terminology of spaceflight, and the science behind how it works. Learn about the parts of a rocket, and the parts of the launch.
At the end of this class, you will know how to build a basic rocket, and how to launch it safely, on your own.
A Lifetime Experience (from the words of our instructor, Dan Cascaddan)
I started doing this in summer-school rocketry classes, when I was eight years old. I have done it all of my life. I started a rocketry club at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. I launch up to mid-power rockets, on a regular basis, and build them all myself.
Space is literally the limit to how far you can take this hobby. One of my oldest and dearest friends recently earned his level one certification, which allows him to buy more powerful rocket motors than the common public, and fire them in rockets of his own design and construction.
He also employs his computer and electronics skills in making his own telemetry packages, which track acceleration, altitude, and other data for his flights, for later analysis.
Some of us have even built models that have carried digital cameras to the edge of space, making video of these incredible flights. Perhaps one day, you and/or your child will, as well.
Inspiration for a possible career path
A great many NASA engineers started out, as children, building and flying these rockets. And they went on to send robots and humans into space. It is a great way to inspire kids to engage with science and mathematics.
While I worked at NASA, Homer Hickam came to visit. He gave us a screening of his (then) new film, Rocket Boys, based on the novel October Sky, that he wrote about his experiences as a boy, building and flying rockets of his own design, without the benefit of organized model rockery to make it safe, as it is now.
Today, private companies are trying to fly in space, and one has succeeded in sending a manned vehicle into space, built completely privately. This is the Scaled Composites Spaceship One. Now with the funding of Richard Branson, they are nearing the time when they will fly Spaceship Two in space. Perhaps by the time this is published, it will already have happened. The purpose of Spaceship Two is tourism! The first ever spacelines, Virgin Galactic, is already selling tickets, for ordinary people to fly in space on Spaceship Two, when it is ready!
For many of us, the desire to go to space has been a defining aspect of our lives, even if we ended up taking other paths. Perhaps it will become such a defining aspect in the life of a child that you love?
Join us on this adventure, and show your child something extraordinary!
For more information on this class, please call Jo Ann/Continuing Education @ 992-2742.