Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Adventure Ends on a High Note

By John DeLooper

This was the last day of the great microgravity adventure.

Each team was required to make a presentation on its work activity. It could be in any format, but ingenuity was encouraged. Twelve teams were required to present. Some teams chose PowerPoint presentations, and some home-made movies. The Space Cowboys chose to have a campfire and a sing-a-long with s'mores!

We did have some VIP's in the audience including Kumar Garg, a policy analyst from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Leland Melvin, an astronaut who is now the Associate Administrator for Education in NASA.

When it was our turn, my wonderful teammates invited Leland to become an honorary Space Cowboy - he accepted and helped us perform our campfire songs. Our team performed the classic, "Fly Zero - G," "We've Been Working on our Project," and "Fly, Fly, Away," each with great audience participation. A picture of the Space Cowboys including Leland is below - he's in the white shirt with a tie and cowboy hat.

So here are the words to "Fly Zero - G" (to the tune of "Home on the Range"):

Oh, give us our meds,
For our dizzying heads,
So we can fly and not worry or puke

Where our team's never late
And our projects just great
And our data is accurately clear

Fly, fly, zero g
Where we'll float and then we will spin
With bubbles galore
Coils, springs and much more

And we're ready to do this again.

After our songs, we thanked the NASA and DOE for this wonderful opportunity. It was truly an amazing experience.

But the work was not done yet. We still had to pack all of our hardware up and get it ready for shipment. As we did that, we took one last picture of all the teams associated with the Department of Energy with our hosts from the Reduced Gravity Office. All of the team members signed the banner which will now be hung in the high bay of the RGO.

Now we are done. Allison is on her way home. The rest of us travel tomorrow. The adventure is complete. But a few of us are already thinking of ideas and possible funding to get other experiments on this wonderful laboratory! Thanks to the RGO for a wonderful experience and a great memory!

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