2018

The place where campers hang out after a long day in the sims.

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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:42 am

SpaceCanada wrote:How's the camp planning coming along, Lee (P51)? Are you registered yet?
Yep, I'm signed up and made the first payment already. I'll made the final half payment in the next week or so.
Once I started doing the math on a hotel (I just didn't want to do the HAB for a week), my wife pointed out that if I could get a decent deal at the Marriott, it'd likely be cheaper (or about the same) than renting a car all week. So, I called their booking folks (not the front desk) and asked for a week-long rate for SC. I was told there is a 'trainer' rate of $99/night. So, I got that. I'd always wanted to do the Marriott at Camp so this should work out well for me.
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Re: 2018

Postby SpaceCanada » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:27 pm

That's great! And, you'll have pool access all week, too.
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:30 pm

Anyone else here wanting to do the week-long adult program this fall?
I'd think that any team I'll be on will be about half alumni and half first-timers. That's how it worked out for 'Hoot Camp' in 2016. I was surprised how many people did a week-long program their first time.
SpaceCanada wrote:That's great! And, you'll have pool access all week, too.
I sort of doubt it. As the week-long camp usually starts early and goes late (especially the post-camp meets at the bar there), I'll bring my swim trunks but I doubt I'll be at the pool much.
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Re: 2018

Postby Hotdog » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:27 am

Always pack your swim trunks. Ya just never know! I know some of our alumni parties tend to lean away from the bar and more poolside. It depends on the group, and the weather!
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:16 am

This should come as no surprise to many of you here, but I had an 'extra' SC flight suit and I decided to put my Advanced SC patch on it (don't recall where I found that but they're almost impossible to get these days), then added an Army Astronaut patch as well, I'll probably wear it at least once this fall:
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I also got a new nametag with army wings and my call sign...
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Re: 2018

Postby SpaceCanada » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:44 pm

When are your camp dates, Lee?
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:23 pm

I haven't really spent much time getting ready for SC over the past week due to a new addition to the house-
Meet Sweet Pea!
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She's a dachshund/poodle crossbreed, 8 weeks old and only weighs just over a single pound. She's tiny but also SO cute!
We haven't had a puppy in many years so we're having to re-learn how to deal with one. So needless to say, she's taking up our time at the moment (which for the most part, I'm just fine with).
I gotta admit, when I'm at SC, I'll be missing my tiny little pup!
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Re: 2018

Postby SpaceCanada » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:40 pm

Congratulations! Now she needs a blue harness with some space wings and badges. :lol:
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Re: 2018

Postby SpaceCanada » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:16 pm

We look forward to your camp updates!
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:09 pm

SpaceCanada wrote:We look forward to your camp updates!

I got back on Saturday (the Huntsville flight was seriously delayed) and I haven't had time to write down anything. Let's just say that our team was comically small (one team of 8 guys and that was it) and the trainer really didn't know his space history very well.
That said, the team mates usually make camp and all the other guys were great. There was even a guy from "Hoot Camp" 2016 I knew, real good guy.
I have some pics posted here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 0717488965
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Re: 2018

Postby majtom7 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:33 am

p51 wrote:Let's just say that our team was comically small (one team of 8 guys and that was it)

Oh, that was the best! I wish that USSRC would list the camp size and available openings on the schedule. Such a small camp would have been an enticement for me.
p51 wrote:and the trainer really didn't know his space history very well.

That's no surprise. My feeling is that adult camps are a red headed stepchild.
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:28 pm

I enjoyed it, but there were some issues with all this.
First, the graduation was so fast, I think it was done in less time than it took me to type this sentence. No wings being pinned on, they just handed you the envelope and there's the door.
The trainers were very ill-prepared for such a small group.
We also had numerous large gaps between events, because the trainers weren't ready and we were such a small group we completed stuff much faster than most groups do. We could have ended early many nights but instead had to hang around the museum area waiting for the next event.
They also had us segregate our trash, uneaten food and all liquids into big containers. All the teams were doing it, and we were tracking who generated the most waste. Frankly, if it wasn't so funny, it'd been embarrassing.
I just feel like each year I've gone, it's gotten more Spartan.
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I decided to bag on the HAB and go for the Marriott all week, an excellent choice!
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The full day before, I went to various places around Huntsville (including a small but excellent veterans museum which I strongly recommend if you're into that). Most of all, I was trying to get shots of a train passing in front of the Saturn V. Other people in years past had gotten great shots but those locations are now closed off to trees and fences.
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When I checked in, my pal Spence from 'Hoot Camp 2016' was on the small (8 guy) team. Spence is a good guy, so I was glad of that. The rest of the team was small but all were decent guys. We had two guys from Ireland and a guy from Thailand (who turned out to be an airliner pilot but didn't talk much).
We didn't do a lot of things we normally would. No mission patch (Darn it), no Marshall tour as three out of eight of us weren't US citizens, and some other things just never happened.
I was Flight Director for the LDM (only three hours) but got the CDR slot for a one-hour in Enterprise early in the week. My landing was just fine.
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Did the usual Area 51 courses including the zip line, AC for the flight sims and did the dive tank. I didn't do the dive tank nor the centrifuge as my sinuses were killing me at the time.
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The rocket launch with egg payload went comically. The nosecone design protected the egg but the chute never opened. It was the first time an egg survived on a rocket I helped to build there!
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We did a rover challenge that was funny, using craft sticks, cardboard and such...
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There was a module attached to the back of the Endeavour in the Astrotech building I'd never seen before. They told us it'd been a trainer for a real one that never got sent to the ISS.
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Graduation was anti-climactic. They didn't even pin our wings on. It made us a little aggravated as they'd told us it would be at 9AM but moved it back 2 hours. This meant that two of the guys on our team wouldn't be there as they'd made plans to leave before that. We used the same seats that a massive group of kids had just gone through, so it felt odd to be in a large area of open seats at the Davidson Center:
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My pal Steve came out for the graduation, though. Always great to see him!
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After graduation, here I am with John, Pawdrig (both from Ireland) and my old pal Steve after lunch at the Marriott
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But all in all, a great week to be sure!
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Last edited by p51 on Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018

Postby majtom7 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:25 pm

Did I read that right: only 2 missions, a 3 hour and a 1 hour?
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:58 pm

majtom7 wrote:Did I read that right: only 2 missions, a 3 hour and a 1 hour?

Two one-hour missions, then the "LDM" was only 3. We only used STS, as the Mars landing site stuff is under construction right now. We got to look around the new Orion sim they have (which everyone walks by when doing the walk through tour that goes past the training floor) but didn't get to use the thing.
As for the "long" mission duration, yeah, we had three guys including me who'd been to SC before and we were let down by such a short LDM...
We sure spent a lot of time making rovers, both RC controlled and cardboard. :?
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Re: 2018

Postby majtom7 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:32 pm

p51 wrote:Two one-hour missions, then the "LDM" was only 3.
5 hours total mission time...<SMH> Speaking for myself, if I knew that we would only get 5 hours mission time for a "week" (really a 4 1/2 day) long program, I might not register in the first place. No wonder they keep a tight lid on activity details beforehand...
p51 wrote:We sure spent a lot of time making rovers, both RC controlled and cardboard. :?
I know that some people like the robotics yet I could leave it. I can play with Legos at home.
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Re: 2018

Postby SpaceCanada » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:49 pm

I'm happy to hear Spence was on your team. By the photos, I though Steve was on the team as well, but happy he was there as a guest.

Wow, the super short missions sound sad. There used to be a 6-hour shuttle mission for ASA, but that was before Mars missions came into effect; they've since reduced them and added a Mars mission, but I wonder why they didn't extend the shuttle mission if Mars was out of commission.

I think the rover activities tie in engineering and programming - two very big and important elements of spaceflight and exploration. You might be able to do it at home, but how many people actually do? I still think these activities are valuable additions to the camp programme. Engineering has always been a part of camp; the activities have just evolved with time.
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:20 pm

majtom7 wrote:5 hours total mission time...<SMH> Speaking for myself, if I knew that we would only get 5 hours mission time for a "week" (really a 4 1/2 day) long program, I might not register in the first place. No wonder they keep a tight lid on activity details beforehand...
I can't disagree with you there. A couple of us that first day were openly wondering how they'd fill that many days if the sims were so short.
We didn't get a schedule of everything in advanced like every other year. We'd only get the schedule for the following day.
SpaceCanada wrote:I'm happy to hear Spence was on your team. By the photos, I though Steve was on the team as well, but happy he was there as a guest.
Yah, I wish Steve could have been there all week (as I'm sure he did, too). This was going to be the first time I ever went to SC where I didn't know anyone on my team, but I was pleasantly surprised with Spence. With me on the stick as CDR and him as PLT, our mission was never gonna fail!
SpaceCanada wrote:Wow, the super short missions sound sad. There used to be a 6-hour shuttle mission for ASA, but that was before Mars missions came into effect; they've since reduced them and added a Mars mission, but I wonder why they didn't extend the shuttle mission if Mars was out of commission.
Yeah, Spence and I both brought this up (as we'd been at "Hoot Camp 2016" and had a LDM that was I think 10 or12 hours).
SpaceCanada wrote:I think the rover activities tie in engineering and programming - two very big and important elements of spaceflight and exploration. You might be able to do it at home, but how many people actually do? I still think these activities are valuable additions to the camp programme. Engineering has always been a part of camp; the activities have just evolved with time.
Sort of like the model rockets. I did that plenty of times in my youth (each time I volunteer to do the engine mount, which I can do faster than most people take to just find the parts). I could easily forego the model rockets at SC but I do get that most other people these days don't get to do that, so I see the value.
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Re: 2018

Postby majtom7 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:34 am

SpaceCanada wrote:I think the rover activities tie in engineering and programming - two very big and important elements of spaceflight and exploration. You might be able to do it at home, but how many people actually do? I still think these activities are valuable additions to the camp programme. Engineering has always been a part of camp; the activities have just evolved with time.


I understand wanting to present a well rounded space experience. However, I feel that a majority of people come to camp and get pumped up to do missions, not engineering and programming. It is very sad that missions are such a small part of camp when they used to be the majority. Yet sims are more costly than robotics or team building activities so which do you cut when you're trying to hold the line on prices? <SMH> I still feel that people will pay to play IF they know what they're going to get ahead of time.

That's my $0.02... That and a $1 will get you a cup of coffee at McDonald's ;)
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Re: 2018

Postby p51 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:03 pm

majtom7 wrote:However, I feel that a majority of people come to camp and get pumped up to do missions, not engineering and programming. It is very sad that missions are such a small part of camp when they used to be the majority.

I am with you in that I'd rather spend time on the sims, and I bet for groups like Team Phoenix, that'd be the big draw.
However, I've been on enough teams with people who'd never gone before and they loved all the things I could do without (like the model rockets, SCUBA, rover stuff, etc).
I have to keep reminding myself that most people will only go the one time and most have never even seen this stuff before, let alone done them.
Still, if they ever listed a SC session that was all about the sims, I'd love to do that!
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Re: 2018

Postby Conan » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:05 am

Still, if they ever listed a SC session that was all about the sims, I'd love to do that!


I am in complete agreement with this. We need to get them to do a session that is limited to alumni and eliminate the parts that we have all done many times before in favor of more, longer and more interesting sims. Perhaps even sims designed by alumni. That would bring me back again.
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