The keynote address: The American Association of University Women’s Annual Awards event
The future rocket scientists and their families celebrated their achievements together on April 19, representing some of our best students from seven East Bay schools. Some are going to Yale and MIT, others are preparing to go to Stanford this summer to attend their first ‘camp’ to explore our latest technologies. And all speak with passion about all the possibilities before them!
Telling them the stories of my flying mishaps — the well-prepared cards ‘flying’ out the window on my first long-distance solo trip to the explosions from my son’s chemistry experiments in the garage that led to the Global Prize at IISEF — the best was afterward.
“You inspired me to want to be an astronaut,” said one of the younger members of the camp-bound group.
Wow. What makes it more worthwhile than that?
Here’s another: I brought along with me OCCULUS to show them what an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience is like. Several students familiar with VR still exclaimed “How incredible.” Several family members were seeing it for the first time.
A VR platform will be the device to take to space on our long-term flights. Within 20 years+ we will go to Mars, and return, an epoch journey that will challenge body, mind, and spirit. The experiences on the device will help them make it through.
That’s where my research comes in! I have begun investigations of what it could offer through discussions with astronauts from the ISS and on analog missions…
Key issues so far: the inevitable conflicts, nagging anxieties, and keeping the crew together.
Sounds like my family at the holidays.
Any tips – from you?