Page 33

DESERT EXPOSURE

APRIL 2018 • 33

ROCKETEER ACADEMY • CATHY HARPER

Failure is an Option

New summer camp program registration open

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lanes, robots, stars, and rocket failures – on purpose – are on tap for the Summer 2018 lineup of Rocketeer Academy camps at the New Mexico Museum of Space History. “Space exploration is tough – that’s why it’s called rocket science,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll in a press release. “For Summer 2018, we’re very excited to add a challenging new activity to our programs – Rocket Science Investigators. Developed in conjunction with the Center for the Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research (CASSMAR), this program will engage kids in learning how aerospace engineers learn from failure, so they can design better rockets and spacecraft.” CASSMAR, located at the University of Texas in El Paso, is

Although this was a success, the shuttle booster Drop Test Article was “largely unreusable,” according to NASA, after its parachutes tore apart at high speed in a later drop in 1977. Like NASA engineers, RSI campers will design and test different types of parachutes and learn from failure to improve the chances of recovering their model rockets. (Photo Courtesy of NASA)

emerging as a leader in applying forensic tools to analyzing aerospace accidents, such as the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. CASSMAR is a multidis-

ciplinary cross functional center that focuses on risk reduction research to make commercial human spaceflight safer and more successful.

Former NASA astronaut John “Danny” Olivas, PhD, led the initiative to establish CASSMAR at UTEP, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. “Spaceflight is a collaborative solution,” Olivas said in a release. “As an astronaut, you don’t get to space on your own, you stand on the shoulders of giants who put you there.” As part of Rocket Science Investigators, Rocketeer Academy cadets will design and test parachutes and simulate NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. Academy staff will build and fly model rockets with deliberate flaws so that students can recover the craft and investigate the causes that made it crash, with the goal of building a better safer rocket. “This is where failure is an option,” said Orwoll. “You learn more by testing hardware be-

yond its limits, seeing where it breaks, and working out how to build it better.” Other camp sessions will cover astronomy, aviation and robotics for students entering grades K-9. Summer camp weekly programs begin on the first Monday in June and continue into July. Along with other activities, each cadet builds and launches their own model rocket. Sessions for grades 4 and above include a field trip and museum sleepover. Lunch is provided for all programs. For information, visit the museum website at www.nmspacemuseum.org or call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589. The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. Like it on Facebook at www.facebook. com/NMSpaceMuseum.

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Desert Exposure - April 2018  
Desert Exposure - April 2018