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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: NASA JROTC
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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,282

« on: January 07, 2007, 08:08:11 PM »

I was reading an article on Fox News (story here) about how young people today are indifferent to NASA. There were a number of suggestions mentioned to engage the interest of young people today including podcasts, YouTube videos, and a junior astronaut training program similar to ROTC.

Does this sound like something CAP might be consider getting involved with? It would appear at first glance to fit in with our Cadet Program and Aerospace Education missions.
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sdcadet
Recruit

Posts: 8

« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 08:11:57 PM »

because my dream job is to be an astronaut, i think that would be awsome! brilliant idea!
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Pylon
Administrator

Posts: 5,165
Unit: NER-NH-038

Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 12:42:41 AM »

Sounds like a good new direction for our Aerospace Education program -- help reinvograte the public's interest in space and NASA. 
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
Becks
Seasoned Member

Posts: 331

« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2007, 12:59:46 AM »

Very true, other than space camp there isnt much push to expose kids to space related AE.
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BBATW
Al Sayre
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Posts: 2,515
Unit: SER-MS-001

Mississippi Wing
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2007, 10:45:45 AM »

The big problem with Space in AE is the mathematics.  Once you run out of the "cool" stuff and get to the nuts and bolts, you get into some fairly heavy mathematics quickly, and unfortunately that turns a lot of people off and is beyond the capabilities of the younger Cadets who are just learning Algebra
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Lt Col Al Sayre
MS Wing Staff Dude
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NIN
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2007, 02:03:41 PM »

The big problem with Space in AE is the mathematics.  Once you run out of the "cool" stuff and get to the nuts and bolts, you get into some fairly heavy mathematics quickly, and unfortunately that turns a lot of people off and is beyond the capabilities of the younger Cadets who are just learning Algebra

There is a LOT more to space AE than math, Al.

I'm a total dolt with math (seriously.. I get turned off quickly beyond algebra or some very, very minor trig), but I understand enough about orbital mechanics and "know what I don't know" so that I don't encounter a technical treatise on why a 2-engine OMS burn on the ride uphill is a good idea and go "Yeah, math. Done!" and have my earflaps slam shut.

I was interested in the space program at 2 1/2.  I knew nothing about math. I knew EVERYTHING about Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

(I'm the guy who, sitting in a Cuban restaurant in Cocoa Beach the night prior to the launch of STS-116, recognized NASA astronaut and Expedition 7 Flight Engineer Dr. Ed Lu when he got up to leave... No, no, I'm not a terriffic space geek...)

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2018 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
MIKE
Super Moderator

Posts: 5,471
Unit: LANTAREA

« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2007, 02:13:37 PM »

It seems like every time my unit does AE Current Events or an AE activity it's mostly space topics.  I'm doing my best to put some AERO back in aerospace by mentioning things that happen in the blue part of the sky.
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Mike Johnston
sandman
Seasoned Member

Posts: 351

« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 02:38:56 PM »

I think that this would be a fantastic idea! I would even be interested in getting into AE and cadetting much more.
This is a "grassroots" campaign to get it started. The framework is already in place. If it works, we would need better access to schools and convince the educators/administrators to cooperate (many still don't like the "military" aspect of the whole thing I'm guessing).

Would CAP corporate be interested in approaching NASA as a partner??
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 06:25:30 PM by sandman » Logged
MAJ, US Army (Ret)
Major, Civil Air Patrol
Major, 144th Fighter Wing, Commander, Medical Flight
Pylon
Administrator

Posts: 5,165
Unit: NER-NH-038

Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2007, 02:51:21 PM »

Would CAP corporate be interested in approaching NASA as a partner??

Could be a heck of a parternership.  NASA is down & out about the apparent apathy among the public, and particularly the young, for space exploration.  CAP has the Aerospace Education mission from congress, a program which needs some new direction and mission IMHO, and CAP could easily benefit from the positive publicity of such a parternship.  Heck, the partnership might even come with funding for CAP AE, but wouldn't be a necessity (just a nice bonus).  :)

Anyone from NHQ read this?  Anyone from NASA reading this? 
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
Al Sayre
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,515
Unit: SER-MS-001

Mississippi Wing
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007, 03:28:16 PM »

The big problem with Space in AE is the mathematics.  Once you run out of the "cool" stuff and get to the nuts and bolts, you get into some fairly heavy mathematics quickly, and unfortunately that turns a lot of people off and is beyond the capabilities of the younger Cadets who are just learning Algebra

There is a LOT more to space AE than math, Al.

I'm a total dolt with math (seriously.. I get turned off quickly beyond algebra or some very, very minor trig), but I understand enough about orbital mechanics and "know what I don't know" so that I don't encounter a technical treatise on why a 2-engine OMS burn on the ride uphill is a good idea and go "Yeah, math. Done!" and have my earflaps slam shut.

I was interested in the space program at 2 1/2.  I knew nothing about math. I knew EVERYTHING about Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

(I'm the guy who, sitting in a Cuban restaurant in Cocoa Beach the night prior to the launch of STS-116, recognized NASA astronaut and Expedition 7 Flight Engineer Dr. Ed Lu when he got up to leave... No, no, I'm not a terriffic space geek...)



I realize that, and I really enjoy the history and theorizing about the future projects. Where the problem lies is how do you explain why a space vehicle will orbit a body, or how a "slingshot" manuver works, how to determine a launch window, etc. (beyond the very very basic) without the math?  These are all questions I have heard in Aerospace discussions.
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Lt Col Al Sayre
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RocketPropelled
Recruit

Posts: 49

« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 07:05:36 PM »

Space Camp is nice, but at the end of the day, it's a business.  Technically it's a not-for-profit arm of the State of Alabama, but it's a business.  If it doesn't clear some cash at the end of the year, heads shall roll.  And that's been the focus for years -- throughput at the expense of academics and educational quality.

I used to work there on the ops side and the marketing side.  Believe me, I know.  Exit surveys and camp evaluations said that the kids LOVED all the hands-on stuff (simulators and rides) and bogged down on the lecture aspects of the program.  So guess what was cut to the bone?  Academics and guest speakers and such were drawn down, extra time on the toys was added.  When I went to Space Camp in 1985, our lecturers included retired NASA moon rocket scientists (featuring some of Von Braun's Paperclip team) and we'd get face time with astronauts training over at Marshall Space Flight Center.  Nowadays it's more of a "go get in the same motion sim you see at the mall" or "ride the big bouncy ride."  It's kind of a shame.

I don't say this to trash the program -- I think it's one of the best AE outlets in the country -- but there are plenty more programs out there to support space education.

The Challenger Learning Centers, f'rinstance, do a fantastic job, starting with 5th graders and up, in almost every state.  If they don't have one built in your state, they're going to.

Everyone wants to be an astronaut until they find out what the requirements are for NASA selection.  On average, 73 people are reported killed by lightning.  The last astronaut class (2004) was 11 people, including a handful of "mission specialist-educators."  And they don't do selection every year.

Kids want to be astronauts until they get close to the actual math part.  Seriously.  That was *my* issue (well, that and pretty rough eyesight....).  Doing astronaut math isn't hard -- it's the advanced degrees, the years of experience, and the other 150 things you have to be good at that make it difficult.

"Astronaut" isn't a profession, it's an application of other life skills and experience.  You just get to apply your life skills, experience, and scientific knowledge at a minimum of 17,500mph and at least 50 miles up.

I'm not insulting any astronauts, but like a lot of other jobs, you don't have to be all that and a bag o'chips to perform an astronaut's task -- any sim tech at JSC worth his or her salt can perform a checklist and troubleshoot issues (who do you think trains the crews?) as a mission specialist.  But you *do* have to be all that (and good with interviews, and have a non-shady past, and impress all the other astronauts in the hiring process, etc.) to get hired for the job.

That's why the "payload specialist" gigs were pretty low-profile in the 80s -- win a contest at your company, or be a politician, or be born a Saudi royal, and your odds to go to space got a lot higher.  "Right stuff," indeed.

I think the privatization of space, including tourism, could be positive avenues for education.  It'll open up a space economy, and they'll need pilots, flight crews, ground crews, and other jobs that don't specifically require advanced degrees or an intimate knowledge of your local graphing calculator.

The Shuttle program was popular when it was new and shiny -- after about ten years, though, people figured out that astronauts weren't *going* anywhere.  Riding an OV was just the least efficient way ever devised to commute from Pad 39 to the SLF runway.  I'd say when we actually start "boldly going" again, interest will pick up.

Looking at the membership rolls of the last 10 years, and looking forward to the next 10 -- some of those cadets are going to the Moon and Mars.  What are we doing to get them there?  Two-thirds of astronauts ever selected were Scouts.  How many cadets are we gonna send?
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: NASA JROTC
 


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