STEM page3

Our Guest Speakers
At one point the room was packed, and we were literally down to the last chair. Representatives from NASA and Alliant Techsystems, Inc., spoke to us about what it's like to work in the space exploration industry and about the future of space exploration. These are the things we remember most about the amazing presentations they gave.

Holly Lamb, Director of Community Outreach, ATK
·        Benefits of space exploration, and the history of space exploration
·        Rocket engines carry the space shuttle at 17,500 mph! 
·        How rocket engines work
·        What its like in space
·        Why astronauts eat tortillas
·        The end of space shuttle era
·        You are the future
·        Know what you want to do
·        Set high expectations
·        Define a goal
·        Make a plan
·        Get help and work together
·        Take risks then stick with it
·        Be the best at what you do
·        Be a leader
·        Share and give back
·        I am the future of space exploration!

Dr. Ray Sambamurthi, NASA Rocket Engineer of 22 years 

"To this day I remember so well the day 42 years back when NASA landed "the Eagle" on the moon and Neil Armstrong walked the surface of the moon. As a fifteen year old lad standing on a street in South India, all I could do looking up at the moon that night was to wonder at the accomplishments of humanity. I dreamed about working with men and women on future space exploration projects. Yes, one day that dream came true and my perseverance paid off. I have been truly blessed in my last 22 years at NASA. While exploring the intricacies of the Space Shuttle Solid Propulsion system, I have shared in challenges and worked beside men and women who dedicated their lives to extend humanity’s search for the mystery beyond this Earth’s horizons. I have been humbled by the magnificence of the created universe discovered by unmanned probes, telescopes and our human presence in space. My work-related challenges, triumphs and even the disappointments would not have been possible without this incredible, reliable and consistent flying machine called the Space Shuttle."  --Dr. Sambamurthi, Marshall Space Flight Center

Ray talked to us about what it was like to witness the fulfillment of our nation's first space exploration goals on July 20, 1969. He has seen a lot during his career. He talked about setting his career goal to become a rocket engineer at age 15; coming to the U.S. from India to get the education he wanted, and staying true to his goal even when things got hard. He wore a bright red jacket that was completely covered with souvenir patches from each rocket mission he had worked on. 

We also learned about ATK's Liberty Launch vehicle

ATK and Astrium are developing the liberty launch system as part of a new international commercial space transportation business.

·      44,500 pounds into low earth orbit
·      Most survivable abort trajectory
·      ability to launch all crew spacecraft currency in development
·      The potential for first test flight in 2013
·      Cargo capability by 2016 
·      Highly competitive unit cost

The liberty vehicle offers

·      Safest most reliable launch vehicle
·      Heritage design and experience
·      Existing stages - minimal remaining development
·      Designed for human rating (shuttle and Hermes programs)
·      Absolute minimum moving parts