Week 4 Summary (July 6th - July 12th)

Written by: Leo Byun, Matthew Jadusingh, and Cooper Matthieson

Sunday, July 6, 2014
The Academites woke up on a relaxed Sunday morning with no obligations. Some students worked on their midterm presentations while others worked on their golf swing (Leo). Around 3:00 pm there was a rush of Academites trying to find unoccupied washing machines. Some were successful while others had to wait for a machine. As you can tell, it was a very exciting day. The Academites wrapped up with their weekly SNL and went to sleep.

Monday, July 7, 2014
It was another fun packed day for the Academites. Monday was family day and as always, everyone was up by 7am to head to Megabites and to get family members badged. Once everyone got breakfast, the Academites were broken into two groups and the tours began. The Academites toured Future Flight Central, a virtual air traffic control tower, a vertical motion simulator, 20g Human Centrifuge, McMoon, and the Flight Line. The Academites held a BBQ of Fajitas with beans and rice and chips and guacamole. While the food was being cooked, a game of soccer was played and one of the outdoor benches collapsed under the weight of 4 Academites who were eating. Oops!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The Academites awoke at the usual time for morning breakfast at M-Beezy. Unlike other mornings however, everyone – even Leo – was looking super fresh in their business attire. Why? Because today was the day that the students had all been dreading looking forward to since they got here. Today was Midterm Presentations. Michelle and Dani presented on the characterization of stress responses in algae; Jason wished himself happy birthday and then presented on power sources needed for a CubeSat mission to Ceres; Leo, Julian, and Ruth talked about modifying UAVs for new missions, while Nicole presented on a future space traffic management system. Kiley presented on safety of small vertical takeoff and landing UAVS, and Yoh told us about his project to slow down biological processes through radiation shielding within a superconducting tube.

During lunch, Leo spotted an intern in a blue shirt.

After lunch, Jiro told us about a method to predict earthquakes by monitoring spikes in ionization, and Emily talked about the using the resources on the moon to allow for human habitation. Cooper presented a novel way to observe daytime meteors entering our atmosphere, by using a camera system mounted on a high altitude balloon, and Mike dropped some knowledge about boundary layers within heated flows. After Brennan and Matt presented on developing a rig to test CubeSat attitude control, the Space and Aero Academies gave their group presentations. Space presented their COGS project aimed at characterizing changes in carbon dioxide levels during plant germination within enclosed environments, and Aero gave their presentation on designing a ground effect vehicle for transoceanic flight.

Also of note today – Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany

After the presentations, most of the Academites went out to dinner at Napoletana Pizzeria. Dani surprised Jason with a cake, and the entire restaurant was forced to suffer through an off-tune rendition of the happy birthday song.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The Academites once again awoke at an ungodly hour for breakfast, and once again everyone was looking fresh in their business attire (except Leo, who wore a t-shirt). Today was the day that all the interns were taking their professional NASA portrait. Michelle wore the same shirt from her picture last year, and Matt wore the same shirt as he did yesterday. Besides a mostly uninterrupted day of work, other notable events included J2 (Jiro and Julian) booking a place for all of the Academites in Tahoe for the weekend (more to come on that later in the week), and an outing to Doug and Christie’s. J-Mac, Big-B, Yoh Mama, Tom Brady, The D, Magic Mike, Matt, Lynn, and Abby left the quads shortly after 5pm to head out to Doug’s. After a dinner of Baja Fresh tacos and leftovers from the family day BBQ, everyone gathered in the hot-tub for some much appreciated down-time. Looking forward to Tahoe tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2014
After the usual breakfast, the Academites were off to yet again an almost full day of work. Most of the group also attended a very entertaining Director’s Colloquium featuring Robert Zubrin, who spoke about his plan to get to Mars within a decade. After getting back from work, the Academites rushed to do some last minute packing and then were off to Tahoe.

To Tahoe they go. Three cars, 18 semi-adults. Lots of traffic, little patience. They drove, they stopped for food, they talked about Jiro’s budding acting career, and they slept a lot. The writer can’t speak for the other cars, but they had some fun driving through rural California. Then they got to Tahoe wahoo. Everyone found a spot to sleep, and headed to bed for some much-needed rest.

Friday, July 11, 2014
Friday was a day full of tours. The Academites went to DRI first and had an awesome tour with Eric Wilcox. They were given a tour of the 3D immersive Cave, then a combustion lab, and lastly two microbiology labs. Then for lunch DRI treated the students to pizza, salad, and soda.

Then the Academites went to DSSP . They gave their elevator speeches, DSSP’s CEO played an interesting promo video to give the students a sense of the company, they chatted with a cool and funny chemist, watched some neat demonstrations of DSSP’s next-gen propulsion fuel, and took more group pics. Some of the students went to Costco, and had a fun time.

After the tours, Dani, Julian, and Cooper made dinner - it was nice. The Academites spent the evening hanging out and bonding in the cabin they had rented for the weekend and went to bed anticipating an exciting day of rafting and exploring!

Saturday, July 12, 2014
Welp it’s Saturday. Great start to the day with a nice big breakfast. Were they on time to rafting? Not quite, but they were pretty full. The Academites ventured to Truckee's finest river rafting company, staffed exclusively by 13-year old boys and girls. The rapids were crazy, as expected. Despite how bad they were at paddling, nobody was lost overboard. They jumped off some rocks, splashed each other, and got stuck on some rocks. Rocks. After rafting, some of them came home to make lunch, while the others went to the ropes course… yayyyy!! Some had fun at lunch, and surely the others had fun climbing too.

Jakes on the Lake! What a view. Doug and Christy hosted the students and the Newmans to a wonderful dinner full of seafoodz and hula pie. After dinner the Academites went to Doug and Christie’s place, followed by the Newman’s place, and then to the beach. The students went back home (to the cabin), played cards, and fell asleep. Julian, Matt, Leo, and Jason went to the Nevada state line to try their hand at some gambling. Stories to come? It’s getting late, g’night guys. sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Big shout out to Julian and Jiro for making this weekend happen with renting a car and booking the awesome cabin.

Picture of the Week:

The group after the DSSP tour with a prototype of SpinSat
The group after the DSSP tour with a prototype of SpinSat