Looking up: Model rocket enthusiasts at the NASA Goddard visitor center
On Sunday, July 17, model rocket enthusiasts gathered at the Goddard Space Flight Center Visitor Center to commemorate the historic Apollo 11 launch and landing in 1969. Below is a clip of a puny model rocket “attacking” the magnificent, towering Thor Delta in back of the VC. Lucky strike! Watch it in HD/full screen for the full and dramatic effect of this modern-day reenactment of David vs. Goliath.
Regular public rocket launches began in 1976 as a program of the new Visitor Center and, of course, to mark the nation’s bicentennial. These days, it’s not uncommon for multiple generations to participate — even children of children of people who attended the early launches!
The special Apollo 11 launch event began in 1980. It’s always been on the third Sunday of July, which makes sure it coincides reasonably with the Apollo 11 anniversary.
“We have flown altitude, parachute duration, streamer duration and spot landing events over the years. I think we have kind of settled down for spot landing now,” explains Ed Pearson, a local model rocket enthusiast and longtime associate of the Visitor Center who helped start the public launches at Goddard.
More on that in a future post. Turns out the Visitor Center building has a more interesting history than imagined. More details to come…
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.
Hat Cam Guy Joel Glickman livestreams video of his space-suited girlfriend, Phylise Banner, at a tweet-up at NASA Kennedy Space Center in November 2010.
You’ve heard of Superman, Batman, and Spiderman, of course. But how about Hat Cam Guy?
I met him March 19, in the flesh, at the tweetup held at NASA Goddard to mark Sun-Earth Day 2011 (#sed2011). Our brief encounter occurred one morning in the Goddard Visitor Center, as you can see in the short video below.
But there was much more to Hat Cam Guy (a.k.a., Joel Glickman) than met the eye of my camcorder.
Hat Cam Guy! Strange visitor from Albany, New York, who came to the Sun-Earth Day tweet up with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men — namely, an iPhone attached to his head that streamed the event live to a Justin.tv channel!
HatCam Man Joel Glickman at the NASA Goddard tweet up on March 19, 2011.
Glickman’s alter ego as a human camcorder began last year when he and his girlfriend, Phylise Banner, got invited to a NASA tweet up for the launch of the STS-133 mission in Florida (#sts133). As Glickman later explained to Blip.tv, he wanted to share the experience with as many people as possible. “I also wanted to take my #nasatweetup experiences back to my students and others to interest them in careers in math and the sciences,” Glickman explains.
The best way, he decided, was streaming video. But how? He was just a mortal man, not a camera. Then he found the solution: Mount his iPhone to a hat, and use the device to livestream the video free to all inhabitants of planet Earth.
Luckily, Phylise has a friend with metal fabrication skills: Paul Dwyer of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Dwyer, like James Bond’s gadget master “Q,” turned out to be the diabolical digital tinkerer Glickman needed to bestow his superpowers. A metal framework joined to a baseball cap transformed Glickman into a video-streaming cyborg superhero.
The Kennedy Space Center tweetup was a success for Glickman and the other 150 lucky tweeps. The shuttle launch was postponed, but NASA invited the group back for the next attempt. They witnessed the launch in February.
Glickman’s broadcasts for STS-133 and the Sun-Earth Day tweet ups have drawn more than 20,000 views. One of the coolest things about Hat Cam technology is that viewers can message Glickman live during broadcasts. Occasionally he pulls the camera off his head to respond. “People will often walk by and say, hey, you have a message on your head,” he explains.
We have certainly not seen the last of him. In fact, he plans to HatCamcast live from the final launch of the space shuttle, STS-135, later this year. And you can follow his exploits at justin.tv/nasatweetup.
Blip.tv: “For NASA, social media is now as important to the agency’s mission as print, radio, and television outlets. NASA recently invited 150 of its Twitter followers for a “tweetup” event ahead of Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch. This group will reach over 1.8 million people online.”
OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.