Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2003

Basehor girl attends Cosmosphere program

August 21, 2003

Brittany Purrington, daughter of Harry and Melanie Purrington, sister of Eric Purrington, Linwood, attended level one of the Future Astronaut Training Program and the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kan., July 27 through Aug. 1.

The week-long program incorporates actual astronaut training with briefings on subjects ranging from how the body reacts to spaceflight to principles of rocketry, as well as up-to-date human spaceflight news.

During the week, campers trained on simulators for manned and unmanned spaceflight. Using a one-sixth gravity simulator, they experienced walking on the moon. In the Advanced Flight Simulator, campers piloted an F-101 and F-16 aircraft. Directing a Lunar rover mission much like the Mars Sojourner, they guided a computer-controlled rover around rocks and craters. They also learned to control body movement on a three-axis trainer and feel the sensation of lift-off in the Centrifuge, a g-force trainer.

The week culminated with the campers flying their own space shuttle mission aboard the Cosmosphere's space shuttle simulator, the Falcon III.

Participants also learned about the history of the space program in the Cosmosphere's Hall of Space Museum, and used the planetarium and IMAX Dome Theatre throughout the week.

The Future Astronaut Training Program is for students entering grades seven to 10. For more information on the program, call (800) 397-0330, ext. 304 or visit

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