Troop 868 in Action

NASA  (March 30~April 1, 2009)

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For spring break 2009, Troop 868 headed south to the NASA Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  The troop made arrangements to "camp" indoors in the youth center at Aldersgate United Methodist Church just a few miles away.  The troop paid to take one of NASA's educational programs and that turned out to be a very wise decision.  In addition to an outstanding staff-guided tour, the program included several simulator rides, demonstrations, and a "hands on" laboratory session.  Our tour guide just happened to be an Eagle Scout and he really went the extra mile to make sure we enjoyed our day.  

Our contact at Aldersgate UMC was a gracious host and invited us to attend the regular weekly meeting of the Boy Scout troop that the church sponsors.  We accepted the invitation.  Their program that night was about a Civil War battle that had been fought nearby.  They were planning to visit the battlefield and attend a re-enactment event the coming weekend.  At the end of the meeting, our guys enjoyed playing a game of Capture the Flag with their scouts.

We arrived at the Space & Rocket Center early on the second day of our trip and spent the entire day there.  The first thing we encountered on the tour was a full size model of a Saturn V rocket --- the largest rocket ever built by the United States.  The Saturn V was used to boost the moon missions into orbit.  We also saw space capsules, a lunar lander, the decontamination trailer used the astronauts upon their return from the moon, and dozens of interesting displays about the various technologies used to explore space.

On our way to Huntsville, the troop stopped for lunch in Nashville, TN.  We purchased carry-out fast food then went across the street to Centennial Park to eat.  After lunch, the boys posed for a photo on an old steam locomotive. On the steps of the Parthenon are (back row, L to R): Brandon, Jon, Mr. Hagerman, Mr. Canchola, and Connor; (3rd row): Dylan, Scott, Dalton, Nick, Adam, Cody, and Spencer; (2nd row): Kraig, Gabe, and Austin; (front row): Chase and Preston.
It happened to be Adam's birthday, so the troop spared no expense in celebrating that night at the youth house at Aldersgate UMC with cupcakes and ice cream.  Adam got one with a candle and, of course, everybody sang to him.
In the game room, Mr. Canchola and Spencer squared off against each other. Meanwhile, pool shark Gabe seems confident that his opponent hasn't got much of a shot.
At the Space & Rocket Center the next morning, scouts got to see one of the recovered Apollo capsules.  Several scouts examined the scorches on the heat shield from re-entry. The boys also got to see an actual lunar lander.  This one was one of 12 that were built.  Ten were launched and nine made landings on the moon.  Apollo 13's moon landing was aborted.
A Space Center instructor talked to the scouts outside prior to conducting a propulsion demonstration. In a workshop, scouts were paired up and each team had to make a rocket using only paper and Scotch tape.. 
Dalton and Preston worked ontheir rocket. Austin, Kraig, Cody, and Gabe shared a table.  Gabe holds up his team's finished rocket.

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