European Space Adventure!May 9 2012
‘The Why Files’ ace science reporter Amy Phillips recently jetted off with Sean and resident scientists Phil and Aoibheann to visit the European Space Centre in Brussels! They were really put through their paces - everything from building mini rockets to manning the ESC’s Shuttle Simulator. Tune into elev8 on Wednesday’s at 4PM to see how they got on – not to be missed! In the meantime, check out Amy’s special guest blog post & photos from the trip…
The first thing I noticed when we arrived at the Space Centre was the hundreds of solar panels on the roof and at the side of the Centre that powered the whole building! Inside, we first saw an amazing space shuttle called ‘Amicitia’. Inside the shuttle, we made rockets that we later set off outside in the Launching Station!
We then got suited up into our Space Suits complete with shades, very cool ?
Attached to the Shuttle is an MMU – a ‘Manned Manoeuvring Unit’. This is a chair with a controller on a hydraulic pole that Sean went on. Then, with the help of myself and our scientists Aoibheann and Phil we constructed a ‘tetrahedron’ (a pyramid with a triangular base).
I next went on the ‘5 Degrees of Freedom Chair’ which simulates being weightless just like in space, this was brilliant! Sean kept pushing me and I would just go floating off across the room!!! Aoibheann dived into the Micro-Gravity Simulator which was a HUGE tank of water 6.3 metres deep - and she even managed to complete a construction task underwater, very impressive ?
Next I went on the Multi-Axis Chair that spun me around and around in all directions for about a minute, while trying to draw a square over dotted lines, it was kind of difficult… Well put it this way, I didn’t get on the dotted lines at all!!!!!
We then went on a Space Shuttle Simulator complete with a real cock-pit which was linked to the Control Centre, and a Mission Controller gave instructions and monitored our launch!
We then went on to Walibi Theme Park to experience some extreme G-forces - we went on head-over-heels on the Vampire Rollercoaster, and then on the Dalton Terror – that’s a vertical drop ride, it was 77 metres high and dropped us straight down!!!! Awesome!!!
All in all it was an AMAZING experience and would totally recommend it but not for the faint hearted!!!! Belgium was a friendly, sunny place and I loved getting to learn about space too ?