About Christopher Mick

Christopher Mick has served on the advisory board of Infiniscope, he runs his own STEM educational 501c3, Space St. Croix. He is a NASA Solar System Ambassador, member of the NASA Museum Alliance, educator with the Civil Air Patrol, and works part-time at the Hudson Area Public Library as a STEM Programmer. He will be blogging about Citizen Science opportunities, history of the space program, and the latest exploration programs.

Landers and Landers and Egg Drops, Oh My!

2021-05-29T20:55:37-06:00

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 https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/C6hNa8ZCvwowU4rVmhUAcj-1024-80.jpg.webp 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

2021-05-29T17:34:19-06:00

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?

2021-05-28T19:54:09-06:00

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

2021-05-20T10:24:22-06:00

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

Mission: Control the Spread

2021-05-04T14:07:20-06:00

The COVID-19 pandemic at the very least has caused changes and disruption in all our lives, and in some cases it has been much much worse. Through news reports and social media we have been made aware of some of the individuals and organizations combatting the virus. So many are involved in this effort, you may even be surprised to know that NASA has been part of the national effort to fight the pandemic. A recent ten-panel info-graphic exhibition produced by Space Center Houston provides more details on how the special talents of the space agency were brought in to find [...]

Mission: Control the Spread2021-05-04T14:07:20-06:00

Time For Ingenuity To Fly

2021-04-18T20:00:33-06:00

It's nothing but helicopter talk these days! And what exciting days are these. There are so many opportunities to engage kids of all ages with books and activities tied to the small helicopter now sitting on the surface of Mars, named Ingenuity. Perhaps it is because of the helicopters small size at just four pounds, and roughly the size of a large dog, but children are drawn to images of this unique looking vehicle. April 14, 2021 was the last announced scheduled flight attempt (as of writing), but the need for a software update to be sent to the helicopter has [...]

Time For Ingenuity To Fly2021-04-18T20:00:33-06:00

It’s Going To Get Better and Better

2021-03-01T02:56:00-07:00

I know the internet is awash in coverage of the Perseverance Rover's recent successful landing on Mars on 2/18/21, so why am I posting on the subject? I felt compelled to after the questions posed to me by a 3rd grader during a video Q&A after a recent presentation about Perseverance. The 3rd graders are currently in the middle of their Solar System research, and a few students that had been assigned Mars had learned quite a bit about the history of robotic missions to the red planet. A student approached the screen so I could see and hear him better [...]

It’s Going To Get Better and Better2021-03-01T02:56:00-07:00

Looking Forward and Looking Back with Story Musgrave

2021-02-10T15:41:34-07:00

I am sure you, like most of us at this time of year we take a moment to look back on the year, to think of the future and in a year like 2020 to maybe take a few looks sideways as well!  One of my favorite things that happened in the year 2020 was the launch of the Perseverance  Rover on a mission to Mars to begin securing samples of the red planet for a future sample return mission. Another highlight was the announcement by NASA of the eighteen astronauts (nine women and nine men)  assigned to the Artemis Program [...]

Looking Forward and Looking Back with Story Musgrave2021-02-10T15:41:34-07:00

A Woman of Many Firsts

2021-02-10T15:43:39-07:00

(Astronaut Christina Koch working on board the ISS, image credit: NASA) NASA astronaut Christina Koch has already set numerous records in her brief career with the agency. I recently had the opportunity to interview Christina via telephone from her home in Houston, Texas. I ask how she is feeling these days after her record setting 328 day stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS)?  "I feel really good. I have my dog here curled up beside me here, and I have been enjoying my work." Christina's 328 days in space is the single longest mission for a woman, ever! Christina is [...]

A Woman of Many Firsts2021-02-10T15:43:39-07:00

A Magnetic Attraction

2021-01-27T16:49:23-07:00

If you are al all like me, you have been revisiting how to best present STEAM programming in the current COVID-19 environment. While every town has different levels of protocols in place, most in-person events have been put on hold, and while I have had a lot of success with some online events, I know young people are more engaged by hands-on activities. I have two opportunities I would like to share with you. CrowdMag is a free app developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), available for iOS and Android devices.  From the NOAA website, "...we explore whether [...]

A Magnetic Attraction2021-01-27T16:49:23-07:00
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