The holidays are upon us, and that means presents! Engineer consultant Frank Weigand brought these Fly Ball drones to our monthly meeting -- some of us are better operating them than others! And EVD brought specially made avaition chocolates, by our good friends at Bon Bons Chocolatiers in Huntington, Long Island (yes- this is a plug for Bon Bons). Good times!
This month the California Science Center exhibits team performed a lighting test inside Endeavour’s flight deck to understand how the orbiter can be internally lit in the permanent exhibit. Manager of Exhibit Services David Gansen experimented with the placement of lighting strips so that the interior is visible with a diffuse glow--no glaring hot spots. He also enjoyed the distinguished view from the commander’s seat! Lucky guy.
After a long workshop session this month, a handful of us ambled over to CSC’s Frank Ghery building, no longer used for active exhibits but for artifact storage. We climbed around some of the Center’s vintage pieces that will return to the floor in the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, like the Police Bell Helicopter and the Bell X-1 Rocket Plane Replica, a movie prop made for “The Right Stuff.” We got a look at rocket engines, solid rocket booster sections, and opened some boxes recently received from NASA containing CRITICAL SPACE ITEMS!
Another exciting field trip! This time we ventured to Mojave Air and Space Port, a test center for cutting edge aerospace ventures like SpaceShipOne, which won the Ansari X Prize in 2004 for completing the first manned private spaceflight. Now it is home to Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo facility (which we visited but cannot tell you about!), the National Test Pilot School and other cool operations, and a final resting boneyard for an impressive fleet of retired aircraft. We also heard from legendary aviator Dick Rutan, who piloted the non-stop Voyager flight around the world. And on the way home we swung by the U.S. Air Force Production Flight Test Installation to ogle at some more amazing planes... a VERY full day.