A Visit to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

During the week of July 20 - 24, 1998, I attended a teacher workshop at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. The conference titled - Connecting Kids to the Sun-Earth Connection was sponsored by the International Solar Terrestrial Physics Program and was designed to introduce the participants to the topic of space weather. ( Above - A display at GSFC Visitors Center showing the "Father of Modern Rocketry" - Dr. Robert Goddard ) Click on each picture below to view the full size image.

Inside NASCOM (NASA Communications Center) where communication with all manned and unmanned spacecraft is coordinated. Notice the Weather Channel displayed on the center monitor. Knowledge of current weather conditions is very important to NASA scientists for optimal communication with orbiting spacecraft.

A full scale mock-up of both the space shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope. These are used by the astronauts when training for repair and maintenance missions to HST. The Hubble Space Telescope is about the size of a school bus.

A Goddard engineer pulls back the plastic curtain of a "clean room" to reveal a satellite being prepared for deployment into space. Filtered air passes into the room and exits through openings in and under the plastic curtains. In the microgravity environment of space, any foreign debris floating inside the satellite could pose a potential threat to its proper operation.

Dr. Mario Acuna, ISTP Project Scientist, leads a tour through the inside of the space shuttle. While in orbit, astronauts can look through the windows above the control panel to view inside the payload bay. From this viewing position they can also operate the large robot arm.

Ready to grab a satellite! Satellites can be deployed into space by the shuttle, snared and returned to Earth, or captured and repaired while still in space.

Standing in front of the space shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope. Notice the large solar arrays which gather sunlight to power the orbiting telescope. HST is one of many planned orbiting observatories designed to help us learn more about our place in the universe.

Special thanks to Michael Carlowicz and Dr. Nicola Fox at ISTP for planning and organizing the Connecting Kids to the Earth-Sun Connection Workshop. Thanks also to all of the excellent presenters and to Geoff Haines-Stiles and Erna Akuginow of Passport to Knowledge for making my participation possible. Coming Spring '99 - Live From the Sun.

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