Thursday, May 26, 2011

New BSA Promotional Videos

Have you seen the new promotional videos from BSA? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Be A Scout:

Cub Scouting Program:

Boy Scouting Program:

Venturing Program:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Stacks Up

With the last flight of the Space Shuttle program scheduled for this July, NASA has officially announced its next crewed vehicle, the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). While the name may not be as inspiring, the MPCV's design is derived from the Orion capsule, which was part of the now canceled Constellation program. The MPCV is being designed as a deep space exploration vehicle, capable of taking humans to lunar orbit, to near-Earth asteroids, or to the moons of Mars.

So how does the MPCV stack up against the other spacecraft past and present? Here's an infographic from that breaks it down:

See how NASA's new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, based on the Orion capsule, stacks up against other crewed spaceships in this infographic.
Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Friday, May 20, 2011

Why Explore Space?

Why do we explore space? What is the return on investment? Is space exploration worth the risk?

Andrew Keys is the Chief Technologist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It also happens that he was a Scout in my son's Boy Scout troop back in the day. Andrew spoke about the reasons we explore at the TedxNashville conference last month. Check it out:

Can you think of other reasons we should explore space? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dream It! Do It!

Tim Pickens is an inventor and innovator in the aerospace industry. He designed the rocket engine that Burt Rutan used in his SpaceShipOne spacecraft, and he is currently working with the Rocket City Space Pioneers on an entry for the Google Lunar X Prize competition. But Tim is also an active dad who practices his philosophy of "Dream it, and do it!" Here is an inspiring talk that he and his daughter Sarah gave recently at TedxNashville:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Robotics Merit Badges In Space!

What could be cooler than earning the new Robotics merit badge? How about receiving a merit badge that orbited Earth onboard the space shuttle Endeavour? Between now and Sept. 30, 2011, you can enter for a chance to receive a Robotics merit badge patch that has actually flown in space. In fact, the badges launched this morning with STS-134.

Click here to learn more and to enter.

Registered Boy Scouts up to age 17 at the time of entry who have earned the Robotics merit badge are eligible to participate. Patch recipients will be required to submit proof they completed the merit badge between April 12 and Sept. 30, 2011.

Good luck!

Endeavour Lifts Off on its Final Mission

The STS-134 crew led by Commander Mark Kelly are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 8:56 a.m. EDT this morning. The crew of Kelly, pilot Greg Johnson, mission specialists Mike Fincke, Drew Feustel, Greg Chamitoff and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS) and critical supplies to the space station. The AMS is a particle physics detector designed to search for various types of unusual cosmic matter. The crew also will transfer Endeavour's orbiter boom sensor system, where it could assist spacewalkers as an extension for the station's robotic arm. The STS-134 mission is the next-to-last for the Space Shuttle Program and the final one for the shuttle Endeavour.

You can follow several of the STS-134 crew members on Twitter: