Space Camp 2012 Day 3: Curiosity Lands on Mars Igniting Passion and Excitement

One of the first images of Mars taken by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This blog is part of my Space Camp 2012 blog series!

It may be serendipity that the historical landing of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity successfully landed last night while I was at Space Camp. Or it may be that it’s my destiny to become the first person on Mars and the landing of Curiosity coincides with my location in a perfect unison.

Whatever the reason – It’s exciting!
The energy at Space Camp today has been electrifying and I love it. I have watched videos and read about what it was like in the United States during the Apollo Missions to the moon in the 1960’s and I have dreamed of the American people finding the passion and desire to explore space again. I am not sure if the landing of Curiosity on Mars has created the same energy as the Apolllo missions (since I was not there) but I can say that I have never experienced public excitement around space travel like this before.The excitement over Curiosity landing on Mars gives me hope that my dreams of being the first person to Mars will come true.
Heres a quote from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden from a statement made earlier today that sums up my excitement for the Curiosity landing and why you should be excited too:

“Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars…President Obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030s, and today’s landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal.”

Even though I am somewhat secluded on the campus of Space Camp I have been able to participate in the public excitement of the Curiosity landing on my iPhone through my Twitter account. I am so fortunate to have an amazing community on Twitter who are shouting out and supporting my goal to be the first person to Mars. It is an honor that so many people identify with my dream and have joined in to cheer me on. Going to Mars will require the entire country to join in and make it happen. I am simply the explorer who will complete the mission. #MarsOrBust2030

My Mach 3 Aviator Challenge Day 3 Update

My day was filled with lessons and sims. In the morning we learned about different airplanes, basics of flight, and history of aviation warfare. We also spent about an hour and a half in the simulators, learning how to fly, land, and fight in F18 hornets.

After lunch we had ‘area 51’ which is basically a team building low ropes course. It was really fun and helped me to get to know my team mates a lot better! Afterwards we had a mission! A mission is where half of us are in the cockpit F18 simulators and the rest are in the aggressor bay. We all launch our planes and then engage in combat with the other team. There were no winners, but it was very fun. We then went back to lessons and learned about flight physiology and looked at a few airplane models.

After an early supper we returned to the SC grounds for more simulators. My favorite was the centrifuge, which is actually used to train astronauts! We only got to go up to 3.2 G’s, but it was still an amazing experience. I felt as light as a feather afterwards! It’s finally time for sleep, and I am exhausted! Mentally and physically worn out but happy to be here and happy to have seen history today, Roll On Curiousity! Roll On!


p.s. I am excited to announce that I have been granted an interview tomorrow afternoon with the CEO of Space Camp, Dr. Deborah Barnhart. I will post video of the interview tomorrow night. I will be talking with her about the landing of the Curiosity and what it means for the future of the United States space program as well as the future of Space Camp.

Check out past posts in my Space Camp 2012 blog series:

Space Camp 2012 Day One

Space Camp 2012 Day 2: The adventure begins before the adventure begins

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Space Camp 2012 Day 3: Curiosity Lands on Mars Igniting Passion and Excitement



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