The thing about Stock Shows and Rodeos is that they are not really just about the events, they are excuses for people to get together, and there is lots of time for visiting and social interaction. You can see these guys are spectators at a rodeo, but are finding time to catch up on things. These events have a great element of social interaction, which is something we often sorely miss in modern culture.
OK, it has been some time since I have had a domestic update, so thought I would catch you up on a few things. I have had a very busy year this year teaching school. We have started an engineering curriculum at my school that I teach. We start with the freshmen, teaching them circuits and microprocessor programming and design. It is a four year program that culminates with Juniors and Seniors doing very advanced engineering projects. This year's group decided to start their own space program, and design and build a space probe that they would put at the edge of space (>90,000 feet altitude), and have the probe stream back data, pictures, and video from space. They have been very successful, and had their first launch on February 18. Their probe achieved the mission objectives, and sent back come stunning photographs. The photograph below is one of the thousands of photographs from this first mission. In the photograph you can see the blackness of space and the curvature of the earth below. You can also see the thin blue line around the earth, which is our blue sky and atmosphere.
The students are now preparing for their second launch. They are attempting even more aggressive things this time, and will be attempting to stream live video from space back to earth, with the live feed viewable from any computer in the world that is connected to the internet. This requires establishing and maintaining a high bandwidth data link from a ground station to the fast moving probe, and then piping that data in real time to the internet. It is really quiet a challenging project. If you are interested, we will provide live coverage of the launch, and then the videos and pictures streaming to space. Coverage of the launch will commence at 7:30 AM central time Thursday, May 8. The coverage will show prelaunch preparations, then the launch, and then finally the data and video coming back from the probe. If you are interested, you can watch the coverage on Thursday at the following link:
Hope you all will tune in and encourage these students that have worked so hard this year.