Christopher Mick

About Christopher Mick

Christopher Mick runs his own STEAM educational 501c3, Space St. Croix. He is a NASA Solar System Ambassador, member of the NASA Museum & Informal Education Alliance, Aerospace Education Member of the Civil Air Patrol, board member of the Space Camp Alumni Associationand works part-time at the Hudson Area Public Library as a STEM Programmer and Librarian in Hudson, Wisconsin. He will be blogging about Citizen Science opportunities, history of the space program, and the latest exploration programs.

Professional Development, Conferences and Resources


(The author standing in the flame-trench of Pad 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center. Directly behind me is the flame-deflector which diverts the exhaust from the SLS rocket's  four RS-25 engines and two solid-rocket boosters, equally to each side of the deflector. In the foreground on the left side of the image, stacked on the ground, are the steel panels that have been removed from the flame-deflector. These were damaged by the greater than anticipated energy from the November 2022 launch of Artemis 1. These will all be replaced with new and stronger panels before the launch of Artemis II, currently scheduled for the end [...]

Professional Development, Conferences and Resources2023-06-29T22:37:35-06:00

JWST Anniversary Activities


(The primary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope after being assembled at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Photo credit: NASA/Chris Gunn) An amazing space telescope, that is rewriting astronomy books, has a big anniversary coming up! July 12, 2023 will be the 1-year anniversary of the first images release from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). There are many ways for libraries to participate, and there will be another special image release on July 12 to commemorate the anniversary. To find out information about hosting your own event in partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI) [...]

JWST Anniversary Activities2023-06-19T19:27:57-06:00

Summer is For Solar Systems


(Christopher Mick pictured with adhesive sidewalk graphics that contained information on each planet and were applied at the appropriate distances from each other on the sidewalks starting at the Hudson library and continuing on for a 1-mile scale Solar System Walk, based on the Sun being 8-inches across)   The vast size of our Solar System can be a hard concept to get across to visitors at your library. Luckily there are several fun and interactive ways to represent the scale of our Solar System for multiple age groups, indoor and outdoor, from a strip of paper to a mile-long walking tour beginning at [...]

Summer is For Solar Systems2023-06-18T10:39:31-06:00

Bringing Space To Your Space


(Patrons attending a NASA James Webb Space Telescope Community event in Hudson, WI. Photo by Christopher Mick)   It all started in 2014, with an idea to put together a STEM presentation for a local school that my son was attending at the time. The thinking was I would combine several interesting  STEM experiences I had had as a kid growing up in Northern California. I had been lucky enough to attend the United States Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama ( during back to back Summers in the mid-eighties. My father was a retired pilot and gave me occasional flying lessons when [...]

Bringing Space To Your Space2023-05-31T15:12:23-06:00

Artemis II, More Than Just the Moon


The Crew of Artemis II. (back row left to right) Christina Hammock Koch, Victor Glover, Jeremy Hansen I(n-front center) Reid Wiseman. The Artemis program is now moving beyond the years of testing hardware and systems, and with the successful completion of the un-crewed Artemis 1 mission in December of 2022, NASA has announced the crew of the first mission to begin returning astronauts to the Moon for a series of  ever more ambitious and complicated missions. Reid Wiseman (Commander), Victor Glover (Pilot), Christina Hammock Koch (Mission Specialist) and Jeremy Hansen (Mission Specialist) are scheduled for a 10-day mission in late 2024 to test all [...]

Artemis II, More Than Just the Moon2023-05-15T22:23:05-06:00

The Launch of Artemis 1 for a New Generation


(image credit: Christopher Mick) By Christopher Mick There are are over 75 reporters crammed into the "bullpen" at the NASA Media Center on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center. This is the area where the press can plug in laptops, work on their stories and ask NASA Public Affairs Officers any technical questions they may have, and there are reporters here from all over the world. I overhear excited exchanges in German, Italian and Spanish as I walk to get a better view of one of the closed circuit monitors showing the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on pad 39-B [...]

The Launch of Artemis 1 for a New Generation2023-05-04T10:20:40-06:00

Landers and Landers and Egg Drops, Oh My!


Some of you may have heard in the news recently that NASA named SpaceX as the winner of its recent lunar lander design solicitation for returning astronauts to the surface of the Moon in the next few years. The three finalists consisted of Dynetics, SpaceX and the Blue Origin led National Team. The designs were all very distinct from each other and addressed the challenges of landing astronauts on the surface of the Moon and returning them to lunar orbit in very different ways. You can see the designs here The SpaceX design represents a single-stage lander that will be [...]

Landers and Landers and Egg Drops, Oh My!2021-05-29T20:55:37-06:00

Artist and Astronaut


As we start the Memorial Day weekend , I was thinking back to an interview I had with the late Alan Bean (March 15, 1932 - May 26, 2018). Alan was a naval officer, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, NASA astronaut and a fine artist. Alan became the fourth person to walk on the Moon on in 1969 with Apollo 12 and spent fifty-nine days in space (at the time a record) on the Skylab 3 mission in 1973. Alan stayed on at NASA training for flying the Space Shuttle, but Alan left NASA shortly before that program became operational. Alan left [...]

Artist and Astronaut2021-05-29T17:34:19-06:00

What Is An Analog Astronaut?


Have you heard of the term "analog astronaut" before?  It's a special term for someone simulating a deep space mission here on Earth. They are people just like you and me, or they might be a specialist in a particular area. Analog astronauts simulate long-duration space missions, in geographically similar areas to the real missions  that are being planned for future Moon and Mars crewed explorations. A crewed mission to Mars for example, would involve astronauts being away from Earth for two-plus years. Mission planners need to know answers to the questions of, what is the optimal number of crew members? [...]

What Is An Analog Astronaut?2021-05-28T19:54:09-06:00

Electric Aviation Is Here


Some people think NASA is all about space exploration, and although that is a significant part of the work they do, the first "A" in NASA stands for Aeronautics. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded in 1958. At that time all of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) facilities were absorbed into the newly formed NASA. The NACA facilities were created in 1915 to research aviation concerns such as aerodynamics, flight testing of new designs, safety, increased performance and increased altitude. NASA continues this ongoing work today with a new series of experimental or X-planes. An exciting [...]

Electric Aviation Is Here2021-05-20T10:24:22-06:00
Go to Top