Local 5th Graders Enjoy Mission To Mars

By: Jeff Herndon Email
By: Jeff Herndon Email

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Students at Wichita Collegiate started the day with a traditional breakfast before heading off in a simulated mission to mars.

After spending nearly seven weeks preparing, this group of fifth graders made the journey into space on the Orion Spacecraft. Once on the Red Planet, they did a space walk, enjoyed a meal and conducted experiments with the filtration system they created.

The students gained a new understanding of space exploration after completing the four 1-hour missions. Each mission had a crew complete with a commander, a pilot, a geologist and a biologist.

Spirit engineer Dr. James Locke was the featured speaker at the breakfast, and spoke about Orion, NASA's next generation space craft. Dr. Locke is currently employed at Spirit Aerosystems as a Structural Engineer.

He began his career in 1983 at Vought Aircraft working on the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Dr. Locke has worked as a research engineer at NASA Langley and NASA Dryden, and he spent 15 years as an Aerospace Engineering Professor.

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