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Chris Laster, Tuesday, 5-13-14 May 14, 2014

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Chris Laster, Tuesday, 5-13-14


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Guest:  Chris Laster.  Topics:  Russell Space Center simulation project @ the Russell Elementary School.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.   For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Chris Laster to the program to discuss his award winning space shuttle simulation program for 4th & 5th graders in the Russell Space Center project at the Russell Elementary School in Smyrna, GA (see http://russellroadrunners.typepad.com/space for more information).  In part one of this 90 minute discussion, Mr. Laster provided us with an overview of the simulation program plus its history, why he started it, his early on interest in the space program, how students are selected for the program and the criteria they must meet, plus the support the program has throughout the school, with parents, and the community.  Please follow along with us on the website above.  Once there, you can access all aspects of the sim program including the YouTube presentation of the 27 hour sim from this year.  By visiting the Mission Control link at the far right and Intrepid Simulator link also on the far right, you can see photos of their hardware and the students hard at work with the sim.  To qualify for the program, students need to write an essay and make a commitment to do the program after school because they start in September getting ready for the sim and then they fly the sim near the end of the school year in early May.  Chris told how he selects the astronaut crew which is focused on getting the best team that can work together.  He talked at length about the typical 4th and 5th grader at the Russell Elementary School and those choosing to do the sim.  Also during this segment, we talked at length about the actual mission and the mission objectives.  Questions were asked about following alumni of the program to see how it might have impacted their college and career choices.

In the second segment, we talked about the YouTube video of the 27 hour sim which is broken up into two hour segments.  We also talked about broader school interest and support from teachers and students not part of the sim.  Chris told us about the launch and landing which are big deals throughout the school so don’t miss what he had to say about this.  John called in from Ft. Worth and talked logistics for the students who spend the night on the sim set.  We talked about food, sleeping conditions, even bathroom conditions which are all designed to simulate space flight as much as possible.  Later in the segment we talked about adding a space walk and the support received for mission objectives and more.  As the program was drawing to a close, we talked about payload challenges.  Wait till you hear what the students designed in terms of a future Mars mission.  I certainly look forward to more programs with Chris in the future and if possible with some of his students who do the sim.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Chris Laster through his website or me.