EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a remote part of a northern Nevada desert known more where adults act like children, it is now time for children to act like adults.
A small group of high school students from the San Francisco Bay area this week are joining industry experts, university students and educators to get hands-on advanced rocket operations and space exploration experience in the Black Rock Desert, where the annual Burning Man festival took place several weeks ago.
The Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation is holding its annual Education Rocket Safari, supporting the University of Maine's URSA space flight mission and the FAA flight qualification of its new sounding rocket design.
The week's activities for students from Napa Valley and Silicon Valley high schools include rocket launch operations, vehicle tracking and recovery, as well as mission payload operations, all of them serving as support members of the space exploration flight teams.
The Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation is leading the world as the enabler of civilian space exploration through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, civilian space technology research and competitive challenges.
The foundation's vision is to build on the efforts of the model and amateur rocketry community and enable the common man to build vehicles and small spacecraft that can conduct space exploration missions in near-space, sub-orbital space, orbital space and even planetary exploration one day.
The main event for the week is the launch of a Delta P sub-orbital sounding rocket, conducting an on-board scientific supersonic fluid flow experiment during the flight, as well as testing some next generation smart materials sensors and instrumentation in support of the foundation's work with NASA and Mide Corporation. The launch and experiment are a joint project of the Mavericks and several University of Maine senior mechanical engineering students.
According to Thomas M. Atchison, a Tripoli certified experimental amateur rocket developer and civilian space explorer, and leader of the Mavericks, the foundation mentored the development of this sounding rocket in support of the foundation's astrobiology development work with NASA. It will make it available through common creative license as a reference design for high school and university students to use through STEM education programs nationwide.
URSA Mission sponsors include NASA, Maine Space Grant, Mide Technology Corporation and Digital Solid State Propulsion. Sponsors for the week's events include, Dassault Systemes Solidworks, the Margaret Jonsson Family Foundation and Wyle.
"We're involved with the Mavericks because we are seeing the future of satellite technology getting smaller and smaller, even to the size where you can fit an individual satellite in your hand," said Jim Juve, a director of program development at Wyle, which has been supporting the NASA and the U.S. space program since the 1950s.
"And that means you can use smaller and cheaper rockets to get those satellites into space. It also means that smaller technology opens up the rocket launch industry to a new class of companies that are entrepreneurial based, creative and highly motivated. We see the seeds of that here this week with the high school and university students during the Rocket Safari."
For more information on the Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation, you can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mavericks-Civilian-Space-Foundation/130245926994946. You can also watch their Emmy Award Winning documentary through its website at http://www.rocketmavericks.com.
Wyle is a leading provider of high tech aerospace engineering and information technology services to the federal government under long term outsourcing contracts. The company also provides test and evaluation of aircraft, weapon systems, networks, and other government assets; and other engineering services to the aerospace, defense and nuclear power industries.
For more information on Wyle, go to www.wyle.com