Sunday, June 19, 2016

Celebrating 75 Years at NASA Glenn

Glenn’s 75th anniversary logo
NASA Glenn Research Center celebrated 75 years in 2016 by hosting multiple events including open houses at Glenn's Lewis Field main campus in Cleveland, Ohio on May 21 and 22, and at Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio on June 11 and 12. These were free events that were open to the public, so, of course, I had to go! 

And I wasn't alone -- along with my husband and youngest son, the first open house at Glenn's main campus seemed like at least half of Ohio had also come out to tour the facility. Despite the long line just to park -- not to mention once we finally got inside -- we agreed that it was great to see so many people excited about NASA!

My husband and I have been to Glenn's main campus a few times before in Cleveland, but there was much more to see and do during their Open House. The full agenda is available to see on their website We basically got to walk freely around the entire campus going into buildings and seeing projects. There were also speakers scheduled at various locations. It was amazing how many labs and projects we had such close access to see and explore. We also got to hear from so many of the scientists, engineers, and other employees who work every day on these amazing projects.

Astronaut Doug Wheelock
One of the speaker sessions on May 21 was with astronaut Doug Wheelock. The first time I met Doug was during my first NASA Tweetup (aka NASA Social) experience for the STS-135 launch of the Atlantis, the last space shuttle launch in July 2011. Wheelock was our tour guide the day before the launch out to a field that was barely a stone's throw away from the launchpad with the Atlantis space shuttle. That STS-135 pre-launch experience was such an amazing day -- and a close second to being almost as amazing as the launch itself! Ever since that hot July day, I had a niggling regret that I had not gotten his autograph on my NASA STS-135 shirt that I had several other astronauts autograph that I met during that experience... So, it was especially great to see Doug again so I could finally get closure by having his signature on my NASA shirt from that epic last shuttle experience. Thanks to Doug for signing it and being so gracious even though my request (and previous regret) probably sounded so strange!

My hubby, Scott Davis (left) and me "Indiana Julie" (right)
Our next open house took us to Plum Brook Station in Sandusky on June 11. Much like it had been in Cleveland, it was a very busy time again getting into the event although there was ample parking at the Kalahari Convention Center. Once inside there were lots of NASA exhibits and family-friendly things to see and do there. After a quick look around, we quickly figured out how to get in line for the line where we needed to get in line for the line to board the buses to head out to Plum Brook Station! Here's an overview about the various events there:

The picture to the left is after we returned back to the convention center for more fun after all of our adventuring around Plum Brook Station.

One of my favorite parts of our visit to Plum Brook was learning more about Project Morpheus. Check out this video I took of Morpheus here:

Project Morpheus
B-2 and Morpheus
Morpheus is a NASA prototype planetary lander capable of vertical takeoff and landing. At Plum Brook, the experimental landing craft was located in the B-2 area. More precisely it was suspended over the open thermal vacuum chamber in the B-2 facility. Plum Brook Station's B-2 is the world's largest space simulation facility, and it is capable of full-scale rocket engine and stage testing.

B-2 and Morpheus again

Check out some more of my photos from the Plum Brook Station open house here: