Headlines > News > Live Webcast Brings SpaceShipOne to Classrooms

Live Webcast Brings SpaceShipOne to Classrooms

Published by Cathleen Manville on Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:46 am
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By Cathleen Manville
9:30 EDT 9/29/2004

While thousands of people eagerly waited at the Mojave Airport Civilian Aerospace Test Center in California for the launch of White Knight and SpaceShipOne, millions around the world were glued to computer screens in order to catch a glimpse of the liftoff. The live webcast of the launch, produced by Dan Rayburn and aired at www.xprize.org/webcast, began at 6AM PST and ran through 9:30AM PST. This provided the unique opportunity for teachers all over the country to tune in and bring “history in the making” to the classroom.

During World Space Week, set to run from October 4th (the day of the 2nd SpaceShipOne launch) through October 10th, the Spaceweek International Association will sponsor competitions and informational sessions designed to educate people around the world about the benefits they can receive from space. Many teachers began the exploration of space a few days early as the take-off of the White Knight, the launch of SpaceShipOne, and the landing of Mike Melvill were broadcast into classrooms all over the country.

Students at Chapel Trail Elementary School of Pembroke Pines, Florida watched with mouths and eyes wide open as the rocket flame ignited and an on-board camera began to show the curvature of the Earth surrounded by the blackness of space. This view seems to have become the inspiration for a new generation of children interested in space. A fourth grade teacher at Chapel Trail stated that she had several students express newfound interest in an aerospace career after watching the webcast. Karen Swetland, a senior at Cooper City High School, expressed similar amazement at the possibility of regular commercial space travel in her lifetime, a realization she reached after learning of the live webcast from a fellow student.

As the countdown continues to the historical second qualifying launch of SpaceShipOne, the flight that will determine if Mojave Aerospace will be awarded the $10 million X Prize, more and more students are becoming aware of the impact that this competition will have on their future. Is it be possible for them to take a day trip up into space? Many would say that it isn’t possible yet, but maybe some day in the future they can make their dreams into a reality.

Well everyone, it seems that the future is finally here…

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