The first session of the month was a classroom session about the history of the U.S. space program. The lesson covered a lot of historical ground, from the earliest rockets ever invented (fireworks, by the Chinese), all the way through the Apollo era.
This session, the Astronauts learned about NASA’s mission patches and all of the symbolism behind every element on the patch. And then they got started on designing their own Mission patch! They brainstormed meaningful elements to include, colors, shapes – and then started drawing their designs.
In addition to their jobs training for and performing missions in space, Astronauts are also expected to give back to their communities. So this weekend our Young Astronauts participated in a voluntary community service event with Al’s Angels, where they helped package over 2,400 boxes of food for Thanksgiving for families with children in the hospital.
The Astronauts experienced one of the highlights of Mission year – a 3-day field trip to Washington, D.C! They went to the Udvar Hazy Museum and the National Air and Space Museum to view some of the artifacts they’ve been learning about this year and learn more about NASA’s space program. While we were there, we also took in some of the sights and visited the Memorials for Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR and MLK, the White House – and we even managed to visit the Spy Museum for a fun non-space-related morning. What a fun AND educational trip!
The Astronauts brought all their ideas together and finished creating this year’s Mission patch! Every design element has a meaning, so feel free to ask an Astronaut which symbol they liked best. One quick hint: a name and an element pay homage to the founder of the Young Astronauts program at CMS, who passed away this summer.