Robotix Starz Go to NASA


March 1, 2013.  Recently the Chamberlain robotics team went to the NASA Goddard Visitors Center, Robotics Test Facility in Greenbelt, MD and their clean station called “Building 29”.  

     At the Visitors Center we saw how a satellite took a full picture of the earth.  It takes two days to take a full picture of the earth.  On the first day the camera on the satellite just skims through and has a few blanks and on the second day it fills in everything it didn’t have before.  The finished photo would show a whole image of the earth.
     We got to use one of the robots that went into space!  I learned that this robot called “Dexter” was made by Canadians.
     At the clean station, we saw one of the people with a suit on called a “bunny suit”.  We learned that the NASA Greenbelt clean station has the largest clean room in the country.  People in the clean station remove particles from satellites that may cause problems on space missions.   
- Mackenzie Walden-Taylor, Lead Writer, 4th grade

The Visitors Center had a spaceship and we got into it.  In the Robotics test facility we learned how satellites are made.  In Building 29 we saw the scientists clean the satellite parts.  That was fun.  Mr. DJ told us that they use teamwork to build satellites.  Our tour guide, Ms. Joyce told us facts about the James Webb telescope, which will go deep into space to find the beginning of other planets.
Jayson Green, Contributing Writer, 5th grade

At the NASA Visitor Center we watched a video that showed us how a rover lands on Mars.  It takes 8½ months for the rover to travel from Earth to land on Mars.  At the Robotics Test Building we watched how the robots were connected to the computer so they could be programmed.  It takes a lot of time to build the robots, program the robots, then to wire and test the robots.
Jaylen Wright, Contributing Writer, 5th grade

The Visitors Center had a ball screen which is used for projecting pictures from space.   We learned how the space rover Curiosity landed on Mars and sends pictures to earth.  In the Robotics Test Facility we watched the robot arms and how the engineers used the robotic arms to make or build a robot.  They used the computer joystick to make things tighter on the robot.
Keanu Williams, Contributing Writer, 7th grade 
     In the projection room at the Visitors Center we saw videos that explained NASA’s goals.  One of NASA’s goals is to get water and fuel from ice caps on the moon for a source of energy.
     At the Test Facility the scientist let us play a simulator game with a joystick which they use to test the robots on a computer.  The astronauts make models of what they are going to test in space so they can take exact measurements because the equipment costs a lot of money and there is no room for mistakes.
     At the clean building or “Building 29”, the guide gave us cool fact sheets with space pictures and facts about things NASA has built.  NASA has very delicate machines so the cleaners have to wear special suits.  The “bunny suits” must be worn in the clean room because the scientists are usually the dirtiest thing in the room.  They even have to go through a special air shower to remove things like loose hair and dead skin and even eyelashes so they won’t affect the satellite missions.  
- Matthew Walden, Contributing Writer, 5th grade

My friend Julia and I learned about the primary mirror of the Webb telescope, a telescope that collects the light from the objects that the telescope observes.  The larger the primary mirror, the more light the telescope collects.  The area of Webb’s mirror is larger than the Hubble telescope mirror, so we can see objects that are fainter and farther away.  Webb’s size allows scientists to look back to a time when galaxies were just forming.
-  Armini Flythe & Julia Bell, Contributing Writers, 6th grade

We saw how sensitive the robots are.  For example, the people who are working in the clean building cannot wear any perfume or cologne, and when they put lotion on it has to be a certain kind.  We learned how the robots help scientists find out information about the planet Mars. NASA robots do different kinds of things.  They sent a robot to Mars to find answers like, “Is there life out there?”  But when the satellite breaks they cannot fix it.
-  Dayonna Calloway, Contributing Writer, 6th grade

At the NASA robotics test center we saw robots and how they move.   We also saw how the robots help move different objects in space.  For example, when an object doesn’t have any use in space, it gets pushed back so it does not hit any other working objects in space.  We saw a 3d TV movie about how Curiosity went to Mars.  At the end we got stickers.
We also went to a big cleaning building where there was a big room where scientists wear what they call “bunny suits”.  In the cleaning room, they clean all of the stuff that is going into space.
-  Paris Tyler, Contributing Writer, 6th grade

At the space center, we explored how they make space satellites and how the NASA rovers got their names.  For example, Curiosity got its name because the NASA space team had a contest to name the rover.  A ten year old girl gave the name “Curiosity” and NASA named that rover Curiosity.  
The Chamberlain Robotics Starz had a wonderful time on the NASA field trip.  As for me, I cannot wait to explore great new things.  And maybe someday I can discover Mars myself.   Thank you Ms. Blandford, Mrs. Poole and the people at NASA.
- Ragia Holland, Contributing Writer, 6th grade