Hello to everyone,
Sorry it has been a few days since I have last written but we have been very busy. We launched the second rocket, this one was for Dr. Feldman of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Unfortunately it was a failure, The experiment high voltage did not work properly and the command uplink also had some problems. The command uplink lets us tell the rocket what we want it to do while it's up in space and we are on the ground. We have to investigate the problem to determine what caused it before we can continue. All of the other systems on the rocket worked properly and the launch was beautiful to watch. The rocket launched at 6:00 pm GMT or 4:30 am Sunday here in Woomera. Day light savings change was made here but not in the states yet due to the time shift, what would the time have been in Delmar??? Well I asked for mail and I have gotten it.
Hello Casie, Tim, Quinnisha, Hannah, Kaley, Dominique, Rhae, Kristen, Jack, Steven, Caitlin, Tara G and Tara F, . Thanks for writing back. I will try to answer everyone.
Casie you did great naming all the states in Australia, Southern Australia where we are is known as the Festival State on the car license plates. We have seen lots of kangaroos, they have gray ones and red ones. The red ones are the biggest. You are almost correct on the time. It is fall in Delmar so the clocks go back 1 hour, it is Spring in Woomera so the clocks go ahead 1 hour for a difference of 2 hours. The time difference now is 15.5 hours. Good try, it was sort of a trick question.
This is the first time Australia has celebrated Halloween, they closed off some streets and had a party this weekend, they did not go trick or treating but they had games and contests with prizes. The most popular costume was a witch, second was a vampire.
The Australians have the almost the same food we have at home on Delmarva. At Hungry Jacks(Burger King) they have Whoopers but also they have an Aussie burger. The Aussie burger has a fried egg and sliced beets. I like it but I doubt that many of you would like it.
Yes I do have a passport, you must have one to get into a foreign country. You also have to get a Visa to enter the country. The Visa is a stamp from the foreign government that says they will let you in. Some of the Visa stamps have nice designs on them.
I will try to get a poster and postcard to bring back for everyone to share at school. I may be able to find a boomerang. When we launch a rocket, it does not go to the moon. It goes up pretty high but not to the moon, then it comes back to earth and we reuse it. I do not get to say the countdown from 10 to 0. We have a launch officer that sits by an intercom and does that. The launch officer is in the control room where they push the button to launch the rocket.
Jack, not only have I been to the United States, I have been to your school. In fact I live in Salisbury. I work at Wallops Island in Virginia. I am only in Australia temporally while we are launching rockets. This can be a very fun job, I get to go all over the world and meet all kinds of people. But I had to do well in school to get this job. I had to study hard and pay attention for several years but it has paid off because now I can enjoy my job. Working hard in school for a few years is worth it to have a job that you like for the rest of your life. The smallest and most valuable coin is the $2 coin and it is a little smaller than one of our dimes. I will bring some home with me. I would like to see the races but I think I will be working that weekend.
Yes Steven is true that the money is plastic. It is woven out of plastic threads like your shirt, except that your shirt is made out of cotton or something similar.
The Australians speak English, it does sound a little funny and they have some different words, but we can understand each other just as well as you and I can understand each other. Kangaroo's are called skippers because they hop or sort of skip along when they run. The Emu's are a big bird like an Ostrich. If you saw one the feathers would make you think of a feather duster, so they call them dusters for short. Kristen the rockets are just like the rockets at NASA because they belong to NASA. We brought them with us from home all the way here. Yes I am married, my wife's name is MaryJo. We have two children, Joe and Kate. I wish I could bring them with me when I travel.
Hannah and Tara, it is very beautiful here, even in the desert. The sunsets and sunrises are filled with colors from red to green. We have launched two rockets so far. We will try to launch another one this weekend. There is very little light from a city lights out here and the shy is filled with stars at night. You can see the Southern Cross down here can anyone tell me about the Southern Cross????
Well I got to go , talk to you soon
Bye for now,
We brought 7 rockets total for launch and I am here to support three of the rockets. Last night\morning at 17:13 GMT (3:43 local) I launch the first of the three rockets. It was a complete success, beautiful flight, no problems and good science data. The payload was recovered after a soft sand landing and we will now begin refurbishment work to prepare for the next launch. One down and two to go. We were supposed to launch the night before but it was too windy. We have a tethered balloon for wind weighting that is held in place with 1000 pound test cable and it snapped. The balloon got away but we brought a spare, no worries. The media has been here for each launch and we have made the local TV news and papers. A local radio station was here and they recorded part of the countdown and they have been playing short bursts between songs.
And a special hello to Jarrett, who I missed last time. How could anyone miss Jarrett.
I understand that report cards are due out this week!!!! I know that none of you are worried because you are all excellent student and study extra hard so that you will not lose any computer time privileges. That would make Mrs. Weeg upset and you do not want to do that because she works so hard for you to have access to the computers. You all should be very proud of your equipment and access to the internet. Very few schools have that, even the high schools. You guys will really be ahead of the others when its time for you to move on to other schools. Tell me what your best and worst grades are and why? And what you will do to improve the bad grades? Well I have tried lawn bowling twice since I have been here, does anyone know what lawn bowling is? has anyone ever seen it? I am not very good at it yet but I will keep practicing.
Kaley gets the gold star for her answer to the Southern Cross question, very good. I did not know it was called the Crux.
Jon, What was the name of the rocket that Andrew brought in to science class? It sound pretty cool. What are you learning about rockets in science class?? Will you get to build a model rocket and launch it? I went to college for 6 years to get my job, it was a lot of hard work but it was definitely worth it now, I love what I do. I still go to school but not because I want to, I like school I never want to stop learning. The good thing is that now I can pick the classes that I like instead of being told what to take.
Andrew, Australia is great, the people are so nice and that have a funny accent. I love to listen to them talk. I wish I could bring everyone here to visit. No, I did not know the money was plastic. In fact they just started making it, sometimes you still get paper money for change when you buy something. The first thing I did when I got here was to change my clothes to shorts and T-shirt and just walk around the city looking at everything and talking with people. People just love to stop and talk to you when they find out you are a Yank. (slang for Yankee) I was hungry so I stopped for something to eat, I got a pie floater. Its like a beef pot pie covered with slit pea soup. And yes it looked gross but I liked it.
Well guys I have got to go,
bye for now, keep writing