UPDATE #34 - September 25, 1998
Several new aeronautics projects will have students working collaboratively online. One activity is targeted for elementary and middle school classes. Two others will be for high school or junior high school kids. These higher end activities might not be done as an entire class; other users may include science clubs, GATE kids or science fair folk.
The projects will get going in mid-October. More detailed information will be placed online an a week or so. All of us at Quest hope you will consider joining us for this online festival of learning. Visit: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/events/collaborative/
Last Week for Contest Entries!
The Wright Flyer Wind Tunnel Test Team would like to have a logo design that can be placed on test results, letterheads and possibly promotional stickers. We would like your help in designing this logo. Visit http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/events/contest/index.html the Wright Flyer Wind Tunnel Test Logo Contest page for more info. All entries must be received no later than September 30, 1998. (By my calendar that's coming up soon!!)
If you'd like to plan ahead, future contests are listed in the Teachers Lounge. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/teachers/
New Biographies for Wright Flyer Online
We even have a bio from Mugsy. Visit: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/team/"> http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/teachers/
Thursday, October 1, 1998, 11 AM Pacific Time: Leslie Ringo, flight simulation engineer The Vertical Motion Simulator at NASA Ames is the world's largest motion simulator. Leslie is one of the engineers responsible for ensuring this simulator responds exactly as a real aircraft would in the air. Read Brent's autobiography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/ringo.html Register for this chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting The "Turning Goals Into Reality" conference will feature keynote speakers and press opportunities with NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Jane F. Garvey. The day-long event also will include panel discussions by key government and industry managers on global civil aviation, revolutionary technology and access to space, with questions from the audience. http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/aero/conf98/ The following chats are scheduled in advance of this conference to give the K-12 community and opportunity to participate and learn about NASA's Aeronautics and Space Transportation Enterprise in advance of the conference. Other events scheduled can be found at http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/aero/conf98/eventcal.htm Tuesday, October 6, 1998, 10 AM Pacific Time: Frank Quinto, facility manager, Low-Turbulence Pressure Tunnel When asked what he likes most about his career, Frank explains that he enjoys being able to "work with tomorrow's planes today." Read Frank's autobiography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/quinto.html Register for this chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Tuesday, October 6, 1998, 11 AM Pacific Time: Craig Hange, aerospace engineer Craig is involved in the Wright Flyer Test, in which a replica of the Wright Brothers' airplane will be tested in the 80-by-120 Foot Wind Tunnel. Read Craig Hange's autobiography prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/hange.html Register for this chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Wednesday, October 7, 1998, 9 AM Pacific Time: Mark P. Stucky, aerospace research test pilot He currently is assigned as the project pilot on the Eclipse Towed F-106 Program. He also is assigned to various flight test models of the F-18 and F-16 aircraft. Stucky has logged over 4,000 flight hours in over forty different models of aircraft varying from the triple-sonic SR-71 Blackbird spyplane to the Goodyear Blimp. Read Mark's autobiography at http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/PAO/PAIS/HTML/bd-dfrc-p020.html Register for this chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Wednesday, October 7, 1998, 10 AM Pacific Time: Brent Nowlin, electrical operations engineer Brent works with a team in a turbine facility, where he is responsible for ensuring all instrumentation and control systems function properly. Read Brent's autobiography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/nowlin.html Register for this chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting
[Editor's Note: Leslie Ringo is a Flight Simulation Engineer. Read her bio at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/ringo.html ]
A RIDE ON THE SHUTTLE TRAINING AIRCRAFT
By Leslie Ringo
August 10, 1998 One of the simulations that I work on at the VMS (Vertical Motion Simulator) is the Space Shuttle simulation. Astronauts fly out from Houston, Texas twice a year to train for their missions on the VMS. The Astronauts only use the VMS for the training of the last phase of their shuttle mission, the landing and rollout phase. A typical run starts at around 10,000 feet above the runway, and the run is considered completed once the Shuttle has safely landed on the runway. The VMS is used for this training since it can simulate the approach and landing with accurate cues to the pilot. The VMS is only one tool used to train the Astronauts for the landing portion of a space mission. Another training vehicle used by the Astronauts is called the Shuttle Training Aircraft or STA. The STA started out as a Gulfstream business jet, but many engineering but many engineering modifications and a sophisticated flight computer allow this jet to fly as a Shuttle would for the landing approach to a runway. I was given the opportunity to be an observer on an STA orientation flight. This flight opened my eyes to the different ways astronauts are trained compared to the VMS. There are four Shuttle Training Aircraft available at any one time. Sometimes they are used prior to shuttle launches or landings to check weather conditions. For training purposes, my flight started out at El Paso, Texas and all runway approaches were made to White Sands, New Mexico. Inside the cockpit, the left seat was modified to have only Shuttle instrumentation and controls for the astronaut. The right seat was for the instructor pilot who flew with instruments and controls you would find on a typical business jet. The flight simulation engineer sat in the center jump seat. The flight simulation engineer was responsible for setting up the next run. For all of the approaches, I stood behind the flight simulation engineer to see what the astronaut might see on a landing approach.
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