4 Feb 2010, Day Two
The first day of the conference started with a VIP tour of Mission Control at the Johnson Space Centre. We were able to observe a mission control crew training for an up and coming shuttle mission in the white flight control room. We then moved on to watch the International Space Station (ISS) controllers who are incharge of maintaining continuous contact with the ISS. While on this part of the tour we were shown live feeds of a soyuz supply vehicle catching up with the ISS to dock in the next 24 hours. We also watched sun rise and moon set from live camera feeds on the ISS. The personal highlight of the tour was being able to visit historic mission control - the roon where the Apollo Missions were controlled. I quickley found the Capsule Commander desk where Charlie Duke worked during the historic Apollo 11 first landing on the moon. Charlie had recently visited the National Space Centre in Leicester so I was very keen to see where he sat during those amazing times.
The afternoon at the conference gave us our first opportunity to present to delegates. After an intensive 2 hour slot, the teachers were thoroughly enthused and impressed with the British teaching ideas and demonstration incorporating space and earth observation science. Day one ended with a keynote talk from astronaut Ricky Arnold who was a Mission Specialist on STS-119 which was a successful shuttle mission to bring full power to the ISS by installing a new set of solar arrays. I will never get board of listening to stories surrounding space missions, they are always truely inspirational!