Press Release

Blind students will hold press conference to discuss their rocket science camp experience

By SpaceRef Editor
August 19, 2004
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The sky was no limit this week for a dozen blind high school students who had an opportunity to immerse themselves in real “rocket science.”  Over the last five days, the students not only learned about the history of rocketry, basic rocket physics, and basic electronics but also had the chance to build electronic circuits for sensors for a rocket they helped launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Wallops Island, VA earlier today.

The students will hold a press conference to discuss their activities on Friday, August 20th at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.  The briefing will take place in the GSFC Building 3 Goett auditorium beginning at 9:30 a.m. EDT

The science camp program, called Rocket On, was conceived and initiated by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and done in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

During the past week, the students were involved with presentations and activities at both the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore and NASA Wallops.  Topics included an overview of launch operations, trajectory planning, circuit building, launch pad operations and developing countdown procedures.  The students learned about how data can be collected, reviewed and analyzed.  They also received presentations on space exploration and astronomy and were given a tour of NASA facilities.

The 10 1/2 foot rocket was launched at 8:33 a.m. this morning during a 3 hour available launch opportunity window. Through audible signals, the students were able to determine the readiness of their experiments and the rocket. The student-built electrical circuits allowed them to measure light, temperature, acceleration and pressure during the rocket’s flight, which reached an estimated altitude of between 4,900 to 6,000 feet.

After returning this afternoon to the Jernigan Institute, the students will begin analyzing the data collected from the four sensors during the flight.  The students, who worked in three teams, will present their results at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Friday.

News media who wish to attend the student’s press conference on Friday, should contact the NASA Goddard newsroom at 301/286-8955 to arrange accreditation and access to the center. 

Video highlights of the student’s activities this week will be part of the NASA Television video file broadcast on Friday. The video file is an advisory to the news media and describes the most current audio and video resource material of Agency events. The video file airs at 12 p.m. Eastern, with replays at 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m., 12 a.m., 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.

NASA TV can be seen in the continental United States on AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, Transponder 9, 3880 MHz, vertical polarization, audio at 6.8 MHz. If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, NASA TV can now be seen on AMC-7, at 137 degrees west longitude, Transponder 18, at 4060 MHz, vertical polarization, audio at 6.8 MHz.

SpaceRef staff editor.