On the 28th of March we had the opportunity to meet the astronaut Charles Camarda. He gave a presentation about what he did as a research scientist and astronaut for NASA. As a NASA researcher, he was mainly specialized in Thermal Structures. He was responsible for demonstrating the viability of a heat-pipe cooled leading edge for the Space Shuttle. After his career as a researcher, he was selected for the space mission STS-114 with the discovery space shuttle.
After the presentation of Camarda, it was up to our team to present the vacuum airship. We made a presentation, a poster and we had the prototypes with us to show them to the astronaut. Camarda was very interested in our topic and he gave us some ideas to improve our design model. After the presentations of all the teams from TAMK, we had the opportunity to speak with Camarda and take some pictures with him.
The astronaut had a big announcement at the end of his visit, we were given the opportunity to visit Kennedy Space center in Florida. For us it seems like a very unique and interesting experience to visit Cape Canaveral.
So our team will join the trip to Florida and there we will meet the astronaut again and an expert from NASA who is specialised in our subject. He can give us more advice on how we can improve our airship. We have also the opportunity to meet other NASA Epic Challenge teams from American universities and if we’re lucky we can see the launch of a Falcon heavy rocket.