Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 1 - Houston, we have arrived!

The Boise State microgravity team has completed the first of many flights scheduled for the upcoming ten days. Today's flight was not nearly as exciting as next week's ride on the "weightless wonder" is anticipated to be, but it served the point of getting the team one giant step closer to the Johnson Space Center. Additionally, the minor turbulence during the flight helped to prepare the team's stomachs for NASA's parabolic flight maneuvers!

At the Boise Airport shortly before making way through security,
which went surprisingly well considering the suspicious electronic
components secured in "bullet-proof" brief cases taken on-board (by Andrew).
From left to right: Mo, Barbara, Andrew, Travis, Mike, Alex,

Leslie, Brian, Pam, Tommy, Bob, Jake, Jordan, and Don

The team was greeted in Houston with a warm welcome from BSU teammate Mallory Yates (currently working as a NASA co-op at the Johnson Space Center). After arriving to the hotel, fabrication was once again in full swing. Of course, everyone was relieved to see that the Wayne Kerr Impedance Analyzer arrived in one piece, especially Jake, as he seems to have an emotional attachment to the device.

Barbara's hotel room has been taken over by both teams and converted into a pool of packing peanuts/integration and assembly lab. Electronic components are spread across the ironing board, a soldering iron station is set up on an end table, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are being prepared ten feet away in the kitchen for tomorrow's lunch break at Ellington Field. The team is cozy and hard at work to have the experiments fully built and ready for testing tomorrow morning at JSC (6:00 AM Boise time!). The night has been consumed by integration tasks, but of course, everyone found some time to play with the packaging material. Brian started off by innocently tossing a handful in the air; however, he was soon lying on the floor fully submerged by packing peanuts.

Mike attaches straps used to secure the impedance analyzer to the frame.

On the left: Andrew, Jake, and Mike work on top secret documents related to the experiments; specifically, this blog and a poster for the Undergraduate Research Conference.

On the right: Mo and Leslie demonstrate the team work and concentration required to attach the gloves to the access ports on the sealed containment unit.

On the left: Andrew examines the freshly unpacked components, non of which were damaged during shipment!


  1. Have fun and Boise is proud of you all!!! Love Andrew's sister Amanda!

  2. Good times! Got to love the packing peanut cleanup!